Leadership In Public Policy
Legislative Advocacy Teams (LATs)
Legislative Advocacy Teams (LATs) work with Texas CASA and their local CASA programs to build relationships with legislators, develop policy agendas to improve the child welfare system in partnership with Texas CASA, and motivate and empower others in their program to advocate for those improvements. LATs are led by volunteer advocates and/or board members, and work with staff liaisons in each CASA program.
As a part of a LAT, CASA volunteers are able to advocate for children on a larger scale and work toward solutions to systemic problems they encounter in their role. This gives them the chance to be a voice of change not only for the children they serve, but for every child in the child protection system!
Office visits during
CASA Day at the
Texas CASA is a leader in working to assure sound public policies in Texas on issues affecting the child welfare system, the well-being of children and youth in state custody and other policy areas related to our mission.
Along with the local CASA programs and their volunteers, Texas CASA engages in a variety of efforts to study, develop and change public policies. Additionally, Texas CASA staff members conduct research, collaborate with other advocacy and stakeholder groups, lead special task forces and engage in other processes to develop and impact policy.
87th Legislative Session
When the 87th Legislative Session convenes on January 12, 2021, things will look different. Hearings may be virtual. Legislators and staff may spend fewer days in the Capitol, and more time working remotely. What we can promise is that Texas CASA's work along with the Legislative Advocacy Teams on behalf of children and families will remain unchanged.
Here we will be tracking important legislation impacting the Texas child welfare system and the children and families involved.
We may not be able to meet in person at the Texas Capitol, but we still have big plans for Capitol Day and making sure the 87th Legislature understands the important work of CASA in Texas!
Legislative Session Priorities & Outcomes
From the Courtroom to the Capitol: Texas CASA’s Legislative Priorities for the 87th Legislative Session
87th Legislative Session Bill Tracker
Texas CASA is tracking important legislation impacting the Texas child welfare system and the children and families involved all session long.
TEXAS CASA’S LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES FOR THE 87TH LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Texas CASA Funding Items
- Request an increase in annual legislative funding under HHSC by $2.25 million, in addition to the current annual funding level of $14.95 million, to $17.2 million.
- Support continued legislative funding for Family Finding/Collaborative Family Engagement under DFPS at $643,600 for the 2022-2023 fiscal biennium.
Texas CASA Legislative Policy Priorities
- Support policies that preserve families, promote family reunification when possible, and minimize the time children spend in foster care.
- Support funding and policy changes to fully implement the federal Family First Prevention Services Act within a reasonable timeframe.
- Support needed state funding for DFPS priorities and adequate foster care and kinship provider rates.
- Integrate policies and practices that respect and elevate child, youth and family voice in all aspects of the child protection system.
- Support policies to recognize and address disparities and disproportionality in the child protection system and achieve equity for youth and families in vulnerable populations.
- Improve services and supports for older youth in foster care, and youth transitioning out of foster care.
- Support continued state funding to enable the successful expansion of Community-Based Care, and ensure transparency and performance accountability.
- Strengthen policies and services in the STAR Health Medicaid program that cover children and youth currently or formerly in foster care.
- Support necessary changes to the Texas Family Code to ensure children and youth with dual status in foster care and the juvenile justice system receive efficient and effective services and supports.
- Improve access to high-quality treatment services and supports for children, parents and families affected by substance use disorder and mental illness.
- Strengthen policies and programs that improve educational outcomes for children and youth currently or formerly in foster care.
- Support funding and policy changes that help prevent human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children and youth, along with adequate funding for services and supports that meet the needs of survivors of trafficking.
- Expand transportation options for children, parents and family members to help children stay in their school of origin, to support parental and sibling visitation, and to access services.
- Support funding and policy changes that promote the development of a trauma-informed child protection system.