Texas CASA, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), Child Protective Services (CPS), Community-Based Care contractors and local CASA programs came together this past month in Denton, TX, for the inspiring two-day Collaborative Family Engagement (CFE) Symposium: CFE for All. A total of 237 attendees, including 14 Texas CASA staff, united in support of a common goal to keep Texas children, parents and families (safely) together. The main takeaways from the event were:
- Focus on reunification/keeping children with their parents whenever possible
- Not replace strangers (i.e. foster parents) with relatives and fictive kin without continuing to focus on the parent-child relationship and reunification
- Continue collaborating on these goals across child welfare partners and systems and sustain the progress made now that CFE expansion across the state is complete
Event attendees experienced engaging learning activities and multiple opportunities to hear from the keynote speakers Dr. Amelia Franck Meyer and Kevin Campbell. The presentations from the speakers had motivational messages for all.
After the event ended, attendees were asked to fill out an evaluation form. Check out what some of them had to say:
- “Best Conference I have participated in the past 20 years.”
- “The Texas CASA staff and CFE coaches were so engaging!”
- “The presenters had such viable and relevant information to the work with not only children, but also the parents.”
- “Dr. Meyers and Mr. Campbell were the best presenters that I have been seen.”
- “The way the CFE Journey Activity was intentionally and strategically designed was incredible! Everything from the big maps and small booklets to the seating arrangements brought CPS and CASA to the table to take an honest look at the journey, identify what was working and not working, remember/identify tools, strategies and resources to address challenges. I loved that it was designed in a way to focus on solutions.”
- “I was incredibly impressed with the CASA coaches and how the whole Texas CASA team seemed to work together with focus and precision to ensure things stayed on track and flowed seamlessly!”
There is no doubt that the 2023 CFE Symposium was a true success. You can see all the memories made that day in the photo album. A Texas-size thank you goes out to everyone who played a part in this incredibly inspiring event.