Register for the 2nd Annual Pull For Kids Clay Shoot

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CASA of Tarrant County 2nd Annual Pull For Kids Clay Shoot

May 18, 2018 at Alpine Shooting Range in Fort Worth, TX

www.casaclayshoot.org

Did you know that Tarrant County has the 3rd highest number of confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect in Texas? In 2017, there were 5,630 confirmed child abuse victims in Tarrant County, a 9% increase from 2016. These abused and neglected children are the most vulnerable members of our society, but CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Tarrant County, which has 400 active volunteers, works to find these children permanent homes and better environments. CASA volunteers provide a voice for the defenseless, and stand up for these children in the courtroom. They speak up for a child’s needs while they are in care, resulting in better access to community services and better educational outcomes compared to children who do not have an advocate. CASA of Tarrant County had a life-saving impact in 2017 and served a record number of 1,022 abused and neglected children. But the need is still great! Over 275 children are waiting on the voice of a CASA volunteer in court.

You can help change the trajectory of these children’s lives by attending CASA of Tarrant County’s 2nd Annual Pull for Kids Clay Shoot presented by Black Mountain. Join us at this special fundraising event on Friday, May 18, 2018 at Alpine Shooting Range in Fort Worth, TX. By supporting this event, you will give a voice to children in foster care, and ensure home is a safe place for every child! This fun event features two sessions to choose from, a raffle with exciting prizes, gun board raffles, complimentary lunch, golf carts, and branded giveaways, awards for both sessions, and a special First Responders Division and awards. Morning registration begins at 8am, with the first pull at 9am, followed by lunch, awards and raffle. The afternoon session begins at 2pm, with awards to follow.

Register you and your team today by visiting www.casaclayshoot.org.

Chloe featured on WFAA's Wednesday's Child

We are so thrilled that sweet Chloe was featured on WFAA's Wednesday's Child feature yesterday. Chloe has been in care since she was 5 years old, and her CASA volunteer Kathie is fighting to find her an adoptive family. In this video Chloe, Cynthia Izaguirre, her caseworker and her advocate Kathie are painting and discussing her desire for a loving, patient family to call her own. "One day Chloe envisions her final picture to include a family who will love her as much as she plans to love them." Thank you to all of our advocates like Kathie, who give a voice to foster children, and to Cynthia Izaguirre for your commitment to finding safe, loving families for these children. Click here to watch: http://www.wfaa.com/…/wednesdays-child-15-year-ol…/515768194

Texas Bar Foundation Awards $10,000 Grant to CASA of Tarrant County

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FORT WORTH, Texas – CASA of Tarrant County was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from Texas Bar Foundation to serve additional children who are at-risk of aging out of foster care. Tarrant County had the second highest number of child abuse victims in 2016. Of the hundreds of children who are removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect, most eventually return home, are placed with relatives, or are adopted. However, too many children never find a home, meaning they stay in foster care until they turn 18. Once they are an adult, they are no longer eligible for services and start their adulthood without a family.

In 2016, 1,250 Texas children aged out of foster care, with the most being from North Texas. These children are at risk of becoming homeless, human trafficking victims, and experiencing other negative life outcomes. Half of them are in jail by the time they are 23.

In December 2015, federal judge Janis Jack ruled that Texas foster children are having their constitutional rights violated by languishing in a system where “rape, abuse, psychotropic medication, and instability are the norm,”3 . Judge Janis Jack added that these children “almost uniformly leave custody more damaged than when they entered.” CASA wants to stop this by providing trained volunteers to speak up for their best interests. CASA volunteers help improve a child’s safety while they are in foster care, and with new research-based interventions like Collaborative Family Engagement (CFE),  CASA volunteers are leading the way in finding permanent families for children to prevent them from aging out.

Funding from the Texas Bar Foundation will go towards a new Casework Supervisor who manages a special team of advocates working with children at risk of aging out of foster care. Advocates with use Collaborative Family Engagement tools to find and engage family members and friends to support foster children, increasing their social capital and identifying sources of permanency. There are currently over 300 children in Tarrant County at risk of aging out, and CASA will work to provide each child with an advocate to speak up for their unique needs and find a permanent home before it is too late. The combination of this grant from the Texas Bar Foundation and Tarrant County community members will help ensure every child who needs a CASA volunteer will receive one.

Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $18 million grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation’s largest charitably-funded bar foundation. The Texas Bar Foundation solicits charitable contributions and provides funding to enhance the rule of law and the system of justice in Texas, especially for programs that relate to legal assistance for the undeserved, the administration of justice, ethics in the legal profession, the encouragement of legal research, publications and forums, and education of the third branch of government.

So far in 2017, CASA of Tarrant County has served more children than ever before. As of November 30, 2017, CASA has already served 989 abused and neglected children with 405 passionate community volunteers. These volunteers speak up for what is in the best interest for children in foster care, including advocating for a permanent home and family for every child. CASA of Tarrant County was started in 1983 through the late Judge Scott Moore, CPS Director Wayne Hairgrove, and community members Rhoda Bernstein and Monna Loftis.

Over the last 30 years, thousands of children have been served by CASA volunteers who assist the family court system by representing the best interests of children in the State’s care. CASA currently needs more Page 3 of 3 volunteers to advocate for our community’s most vulnerable children. For more information on how to become a CASA volunteer and how to help children at risk of aging out of foster care, please contact Caitlyn Ussery, Volunteer Coordinator at caitlyn.ussery@casatc.org or 817.877.5891 or sign up for an information session at www.speakupforachild.org. Upcoming information sessions will be held at the CASA office Friday December 8 from 12pm to 1pm and Thursday December 14 from 6pm to 7pm. Information sessions are held every week and will begin again in January 2018.

CASA Program Director Featured in November 2017 Issue of Southlake Style

CASA of Tarrant County and Tarrant County National Adoption Day are featured in the November issue of Southlake Style Magazine as part of a special article titled "Finding Forever Families" featuring the Akins Family!

CASA Program Director Denee Borchardt states in the article, "Texas children in the foster-care system need more families like the Akins. Tarrant County ranks No. 2 statewide for the highest number of child abuse cases... " and Vickie Akins states, "All kids need hope, a future and a chance. Their lives can be radically transformed just from structure and love... Whether you're loving on a child for five weeks, five months, five years or forever, the impact you can have on that child is eternal."

Read the article online here: https://issuu.com/miketesoriero/docs/ss_november_17_flip/38

I Am For the Child... Who Has No Voice

To give a child a CASA volunteer is to give them a voice. To give them a voice is to give them hope, and to give them hope is to give them the world. CASA volunteer Robin Grady states, “Being a CASA has given me way more than I have given” and CASA advocate Dee Averitt explains, “I wish I had never waited… because I will never stop." We invite YOU to come and experience the rewarding moments you receive as a CASA volunteer. It is a life-changing experience that many volunteers say has changed them forever!