While it has been over a year since many of us have been able to come together as a CASA network due to the ongoing pandemic, we are proud to say that our collective commitment to children in foster care and their families remains true and at the heart of all that we do. In Fiscal Year 2021 (September 2020-August 2021), the CASA programs in Texas continued to find creative ways to engage with their communities, and recruit and train dedicated volunteers to advocate fiercely for children and families involved in the system.
The statewide numbers are in! Last year:
- There were 72 local CASA programs serving children in 219 of the 254 Texas counties,
- 10,920 total CASA volunteers,
- 28,543 total children served by CASA, and
- 44,116 children in DFPS conservatorship in the Texas counties with a CASA program.
This means CASA programs were able to serve a total of more than 63% of the children in state care in their service areas!
We’re also excited to share that last year, the CASA network and DFPS worked together through our family finding and engagement partnership, Collaborative Family Engagement (CFE), to serve more children and families than ever. First established in 2015, CFE uses a structured approach to find and engage blood relatives and other important connections, providing children, parents and families with a dedicated and lasting support system.
- CFE expanded into 71% of the CASA network (51 local CASA programs), 10 of the 11 CPS regions, and 4 Community-Based Care providers;
- 3,355 children were served with CFE;
- 1,883 families were engaged using CFE; and
- 108 of the 254 Texas counties were practicing CFE.
Right now, we’re in the process of onboarding nine more CASA programs and the final CPS region, which means CFE will be in 60 of the 72 CASA programs and all 11 CPS regions this year. It’s on track to be fully statewide by 2023!
CASA can grow to serve every child and family in the Texas foster care system, but we can’t do it without your help! Want to help us continue to grow and make a positive difference? There are three ways to get involved:
VOLUNTEER. Ready to advocate for children and families in the foster care system? Visit BecomeACASA.org to locate and contact your local CASA program, and take the first step towards becoming a CASA volunteer.
NOMINATE. If you know someone who has what it takes to speak up for children and families in crisis, let them know by nominating them today at NominateACASA.org.
GIVE. A donation to Texas CASA is an investment in the future of Texas’ children and families. Consider making a gift to Texas CASA today at TexasCASA.org/donate.