CASA of Liberty/Chambers Counties celebrates National Social Work Month
As part of the National Social Work Month celebration of March, CASA of Liberty/Chambers Counties recognizes and appreciates social workers, advocates and others who dedicate their careers to improving the lives of others.
Social workers strive to build a stronger community for all, and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates®) is a proud partner in the effort to create a brighter future for children and families involved in the protective system. from childhood.
“Social workers are the backbone of the child welfare system, from social workers to therapists to child placement agency staff,” said Terry Patterson, Program Director of CASA of Liberty/ Chambers Counties. “Collaboration and partnership are key values in the field of social work, and we share those values here at CASA.”
CASA volunteers with CASA of Liberty/Chambers Counties are community members who are trained to advocate for children in foster care. They work with the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and other key child protection advocates and professionals to ensure the children they serve are safe and healthy. They get to know the child and speak with everyone involved in the child’s life, including parents, family and social worker, foster parents, therapists and others, so they can make informed recommendations to the court on the best interests of the child.
One of the specific ways CASA volunteers and social workers in Texas work together to improve the lives of children and their families is to Collaborative Family Engagement (CFE), a national organization Family search partnership with DFPS that creates and strengthens lifelong support networks around children and their families. Studies have shown that one of the strongest indicators of child well-being is the number of present, caring and reliable adults in the child’s life. According to Karen Foyil, CASA’s Collaborative Family Engagement Coordinator, “CASA volunteers, DFPS and others work together to build an adult support system for these children and their families – made up of family members, d family friends, teachers, mentors, neighbors, coaches and others – that will last even after the case is closed.
“The primary focus of CASA volunteers is the family reunification of the children they serve, where possible and safe,” said CASA CEO Kimberly Stephens. “Working together to create and strengthen a support network for children and their families helps increase the likelihood of lasting reunifications.”
As CFE rolls out across Texas, the child welfare system is also undergoing major statewide reform – reform that will require more communication and collaboration between CASA, DFPS, and other bands than ever before. In 2017, the state began the transition to Community carea radical transformation of the system that gradually shifts foster care and case management services from the state to private, not-for-profit contractors.
“As community care rolls out across the state and more agencies get involved, we see many opportunities — both to forge new relationships and strengthen current ones,” Stephens said. . “In the spirit of National Social Work Month, CASA of Liberty/Chambers Counties and our dedicated volunteers will continue to focus on the strengths of those we serve – in every conversation, every new partnership we forge, every action and each case.”
You don’t have to be a social worker to be a CASA volunteer. You just need to have the desire to make a difference – just like our colleagues in the social work field. For more information, visit http://www.casalctx.org. Information sessions are offered weekly, Thursdays at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Please email Melanie Cotten at [email protected] to register or call 409-781-8035 for more information.