is a month full of fun holiday celebrations and traditions for loved ones to
enjoy together. However, there are many children in the foster care system
Texas who do not have the same opportunities to experience a joyful
circumstances that are no fault of their own, these children have been removed
from their homes and placed in the child welfare system, many times far from
everyone they know and love. This holiday season, Child Advocates of Fort Bend
urges you to be mindful of all the children in foster care who are waiting to
be adopted or reunited with their families.
is meant to be a festive time to spend with your family,” Ruthanne Mefford, CEO
of Child Advocates of Fort Bend. “Without the opportunity to share the holidays
with the loved ones in their lives, children in foster care are deprived of
precious memories that make the holiday season so special.”
to The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), in 2016, more
than 18,990 children were removed from their homes in Texas alone. This past
year, Child Advocates of Fort Bend served 267 children in foster care in Fort
Bend County who were removed from their homes. The agency is challenging more
members of the community to become a part of the solution by becoming a Court
Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer.
volunteers get to know the child and provide a voice for them in court,
standing by their side to make sure they do not have to face an overburdened
system alone,” said Mefford.
this story of Sam. As the oldest of three children raised in a neglectful home
with a drug-addicted mother, 11-year-old Sam and his siblings were removed from
their mother and separated.
brother and sister eventually settled into the home of an appropriate relative,
but because of Sam’s behaviors in foster care, the relative felt that they
would not be able to meet his needs. Thus, Sam was left to languish in care.
Sam had a CASA volunteer who never up on him.
knew that Sam’s father had not been involved in his life in many years.
However, despite his mother’s harsh words about his father, Sam always spoke of
his dad in a very positive way – so she decided to locate him.
father told a very different story, explaining that he had tried to maintain
contact with Sam, but his mother often made it impossible to locate them. He
was excited to hear that Sam wanted to see him, and they quickly arranged a
Sam lives with his father and they have a wonderful, healthy relationship; and
he regularly visits his brother and sister. Thanks to his CASA volunteer’s
dedication and advocacy, Sam gets to spend the holidays creating new, happy
memories in his forever home.
like these are the reason why CASA volunteers are so imperative in the life of
a foster child. They need someone who can look out for their best interests and
ensure they end up in a safe, loving home.
the holiday season, children are especially vulnerable and hopeful to be a part
of a family. Each year, more and more children enter the foster care system and
don’t get the opportunity to spend the holiday season baking, opening presents
and participating in other family traditions.
more members of the community to step up and get involved,” said Mefford.
Whether you become a CASA volunteer, a foster parent or provide support to a
local foster family, you can make a difference this holiday season.”
an urgent need for volunteers to offer foster children a consistent person in
their life that they can trust and rely on.
child in foster care needs someone to support them through this difficult time.
They need a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer to be by their
side to help them move through the foster care system as quickly as possible,
and into safe, permanent homes where they can spend the holidays creating happy
200 CASA volunteers spoke up for abused and neglected children in our community
who, through no fault of their own, ended up in foster care. Consider joining
the movement and becoming a CASA volunteer. The next volunteer training session
starts in February. For information or an application contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Child Advocates of Fort Bend:
Advocates of Fort Bend is a non-profit agency dedicated to advocating on behalf
and neglected children through the use of specially trained community
volunteers and staff. Volunteers advocate for children’s emotional, physical
and educational needs while they are involved in the court system. Child
Advocates of Fort Bend is the only program in Texas that is able to provide a
volunteer advocate for every child in foster care. For more information on CAFB
and how you can help these small victims, please visit www.cafb.org or call 281-341-9955. The next
volunteer training session begins on February 12. Please call 281-344-5259 for