Texas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) honored Governor Greg Abbott and First Lady Cecilia Abbott as champions for children and youth in the Texas child protection system during its annual Champion Recognition Luncheon held today in Austin.
In addition to honoring the Governor and First Lady, the afternoon’s program touched on the many ways Texas CASA, as the statewide organization, supports the 72 local CASA volunteer advocacy programs to make a difference in the lives of children in care across the state.
“Cecilia and I are honored to be recognized by Texas CASA,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “The safety and well-being of all children has been a lifelong commitment for us, both personally and professionally, and dedicated organizations like CASA are instrumental in improving the lives of our most vulnerable citizens in the foster care system.”
After the Governor’s address and award presentations, Texas CASA CEO Vicki Spriggs unveiled a television public service announcement for the enthusiastic audience, officially launching the organization’s statewide volunteer recruitment campaign.
“Every child has a chance—it’s you,” declared Spriggs. This simple, yet empowering tagline forms the foundation of a multi-touch marketing campaign that will include television, radio, print, online and out-of-home advertisements with the goal of recruiting a diverse pool of potential CASA volunteers to speak up in court for more children in care across the state.
The event also featured inspiring remarks from the Honorable Eva Guzman, Justice, Supreme Court of Texas and Chair, Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families; A’Lisa and Ke’Nesha Buckner, former foster youths; and Jenny Haynes, member of the Texas CASA Board of Directors.
“We were so pleased to recognize both the Governor and First Lady this year as we embark upon such an important project across our organization,” said Spriggs. “Because they share our goal of improving outcomes for children and youth in care, they know that dedicated individuals like CASA volunteers can make a true, positive difference in the lives of children.”
The well-attended event was sponsored by: CenterPoint Energy, the Champion Recognition Luncheon Flagship sponsor; Altria; Association of Electric Companies of Texas, Inc. (AECT); BaylorScott & White Health; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas; DentaQuest; Epic Health Services; ExxonMobil; Jane Quentan Piper; Koch; Suzanne and Don Maloney; Susie Moseley; NRG; Point Security; South Texas Money Management Ltd.; State Water Heaters; Superior HealthPlan; and Texas Association of Health Plans.
For more information about Texas CASA, visit TexasCASA.org, and to learn more about becoming a volunteer in your community, visit BecomeACASA.org.
About Texas CASA
Austin-based Texas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is the statewide organization of 72 local CASA programs that recruit and train volunteers to advocate for children in the child protection system. Last year, 8,476 well-trained volunteers served 25,947 children in 207 of the 254 Texas counties. Texas CASA supports the local CASA programs by advocating for effective public policy for children in the child protection system and by providing funding, training and technical assistance to program staff, board and volunteers.
CASA volunteers are everyday members of the community doing extraordinary work by choosing to speak up for abused and neglected children in their communities. They are screened and trained, then appointed by the court to advocate for the best interests of a child or sibling group 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 overburdened system. CASA volunteers work to move the children through foster care and into safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible.