Texas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates®), the statewide association of CASA programs that recruit, train and support volunteers to speak up in court for children in the child protection system, was awarded a $169,000 grant by the Meadows Foundation to provide assistance to local CASA programs and work to improve the foster care system.
“Thanks to the Meadows Foundation, Texas CASA will be able to start a Program Improvement Project, which will build capacity with local CASA programs by providing customized assistance. This will allow for more children in foster care to be served by trained volunteers,” said Vicki Spriggs, chief executive officer for Texas CASA. “The grant also will make possible a Legislative Advocacy Coordinator to help train CASA volunteers to work with legislators, policy makers and stakeholders to create meaningful change in the foster care system and make it more effective for children.”
Last year, more than 64,000 Texas children were confirmed as victims of physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect. More than 31,000 of these children were placed in foster care, often in facilities and homes far away from their friends and family. CASA volunteers get to know the children they represent and others in their lives, so volunteers can make informed recommendations to the court about placements and services.
About Texas CASA
Austin-based Texas CASA is the statewide association of 70 local CASA programs. More than 7,200 well-trained volunteers served nearly 23,000 children in 206 of the 254 counties in FY 2012. Texas CASA provides funding, training and technical assistance to the staff, board and volunteers of the 70 member programs.
CASA volunteers are regular people who have chosen to speak up for abused and neglected children in their communities. CASA volunteers are screened and trained, then appointed by the court to advocate for the best interests of a children in the foster care system. Often the CASA volunteer is the one constant in a child’s life while he or she goes through the over-burdened foster care system. CASA volunteers work to move the children through foster care and into safe permanent homes as quickly as possible. More than half the children in foster care do not have CASA volunteers. For more information, please visit www.TexasCASA.org.
About the Meadows Foundation
Oilman and philanthropist Algur H. Meadows and his wife, Virginia, established the Meadows Foundation to support charitable organizations throughout Texas. Since its inception in 1948, the foundation has disbursed more than $760 million in grants and direct charitable expenditures to over 3,000 Texas institutions and agencies, enriching the lives of countless Texans in the areas of arts and culture, civic and public affairs, education, health and human services.