Moving Our Advocacy Forward

By Vicki Spriggs
Chief Executive Officer of Texas CASA

Dear CASA Community,

We’ve got lots of new, timely and exciting resources for you this month, so I’ll get straight to the point!

First, we’re proudly releasing the Texas CASA Health Advocacy Guide: How CASA Volunteers Can Support Medical & Mental Healthcare for Children in Foster Care. Two years in the making, this in-depth guide explains all the mental and physical health services offered through STAR Health Medicaid. With it, CASA volunteers will be better able to work with caregivers to make sure young people are getting the quality healthcare they need and deserve. In addition, I spoke with Texas CASA Public Policy Fellow Bryan Mares for our video series, Conversations with CASA. Bryan brings a wealth of knowledge on advocacy for medical and mental healthcare needs of youth and families, and conducted the research from which this guide was born.

With an unprecedented school year ahead of us, we’re also focusing on educational advocacy. This year will be especially challenging for the children and families we serve, who are already dealing with so much uncertainty. How can CASA volunteers make sure children’s educational needs are being met, whether they’re attending school online or in the classroom? We ask experts from the Children’s Commission, Jamie Bernstein and Renée Castillo-De La Cruz, in a Q&A: Educational Advocacy in the Age of COVID-19.

We also tell a story of advocacy in action—a CASA volunteer who’s acting as the critical link between a parent, a CASA program and the state to ensure that the children on her case have the supplies they need for successful online learning.

And in preparation for the 2021 Legislative Session, we’re spotlighting our newly developed legislative priorities. These priorities, developed by our Public Policy team in partnership with the local CASA programs, will guide everything we do as we partner with legislators to champion new bills that will improve the foster care system.

With all of these features and more in this month’s edition of The CASA Voice, we hope to refuel your passion and inform your advocacy.

As I write this, I am aware that our community and loved ones in the Gulf Coast are suffering from the damages of Hurricane Laura, and many people are displaced. For everyone in that affected region, our thoughts and love are with you as you rebuild, and your CASA community is here to support you.

Thank you for all that you do to serve and uplift children and families. We’re honored to work alongside you.

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