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CASA Day at the Capital is Around the Corner

CASA Day at the Capital is Around the Corner
 
Registration is now open for the 2017 CASA Day at the Capitol on Thursday, February 16, 2017.
The 2017 CASA Day at the Capitol is the day advocates join together, in a shared voice, to advocate for Texas children! Hundreds of CASA advocates from all over the state will fill the state capitol to share their personal stories of advocacy and discuss legislation that can impact the lives of children.
 
CASA Day at the Capitol is open to the entire CASA network of volunteers, staff and board members. Capitol Day is a free event. You must register to attendPlease contact Nicole at the CASA office, 361.595.7233 or by email at casarecruiter.7233@sbcglobal.net, for more information on how to register.

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT OUR LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY TEAM PLEASE SEE BELOW.

WHAT IS LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY?
Legislative advocacy refers to efforts to influence the introduction, enactment, or modification of legislation. The most common means of legislative advocacy is direct lobbying, which entails contacting a legislator, sharing your views on an issue, and asking him or her to vote a specific way on a bill.
 
WHY IS LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY SO IMPORTANT?
Because it works! We can make a powerful impact on the child protection system by speaking up for children at the Capitol as well as in the courts. Legislators are more likely to listen and take action on a bill if they hear from their constituents that it is important. Without the help of volunteers across Texas, our priority bills are less likely to be successful. Your voice matters!
 
WHY ARE CASA VOLUNTEERS SUCH EFFECTIVE LEGISLATIVE ADVOCATES?
For the same reasons that they are effective advocates in court! CASA volunteers are: 
• Well trained to speak up for children professionally and persuasively.
• Motivated to serve the best interest of Texas’ most vulnerable children. 
• Motivated by the best interests of children and don’t have financial incentives or other hidden agendas when they speak up for children. 
• Community members, constituents and voters, which brings perspective and power to their advocacy. 
• Knowledgeable about how the child protection system works (and doesn’t work) and can share personal case examples of each, which helps to put a face on the issues. 
• Passionate about helping children. Their passion is contagious!
 
WHAT IS A LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY TEAM (LAT)?
A Legislative Advocacy Team (LAT) is a group of committed CASA volunteers who take their advocacy for children to the next level by using the experience and knowledge they have gained as volunteers to advocate for change in the child protection system. Each LAT has at least one chair: a volunteer who agrees to be the face of the LAT and the point of contact for the group. In addition to the chair, there is at least one CASA staffer who is responsible for supporting the team.
LATs enable volunteers to experience advocating for children on a larger scale. Knowing that you and other CASAs all over the state are working toward solutions to problems many of you encounter can bring another degree of satisfaction to your role as an advocate. You can be the voice to create change not only for the child(ren) for whom you advocate, but for every child in the child protection system!
 
There are many things that members of LATs can do, depending on their availability and comfort level. Some members feel comfortable writing letters to support changes to the system. Others might want to directly interact with legislators and their staff by meeting with them or inviting them to CASArelated events. CASA volunteers may testify before legislative committees, sharing a particular experience they have had in order to illustrate the relevancy of a bill. We encourage LATs to brainstorm activities quarterly, with Texas CASA’s assistance and support.

 

Car Show

Texas Independence Day set for March 4, 2017

The Kingsville Auto Club (KAC) has scheduled thier Texas Independence Day Car Show for March 4, 2017 at the Community Life Center Parking Lot on W. Kleberg Avenue in Kingsville, Texas. Pre-Registration is from 9 am - 11 am., show is from 11 am to 3 pm and awards will be presented at 2:45 pm. Spectators are welcome.

This is an open car show, so if you would like to show off your unique vehicle please feel free to register. Registration is $25 per vehicle and includes a T-shirt and dash plaque for the first 50 entries. Awards will be presented for the “TOP TEN”, Club Favorite, Bob Neely Memorial & Red Klassen Memorial.

Kingsville Auto Club is a car club open to all who have an interest in or own antiques, classics, street rods or other special interest vehicles. Each year the KAC hosts the Texas Independence Day Car show in an effort to raise money for two local non-profit organizations. Animal Rescue Kingsville (ARK), whose purpose is to place homeless and neglected cats and dogs into permanent homes. Their long-term goal is to reduce the number of stray animals in our community. In addition, they promote public awareness regarding the welfare of animals, and the prevention of over poulation by spaying and neutering. Brush Country Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a non-profit organization whose mission is: to provide trained and qualified Court Appointed community Volunteers to Advocate for the best interests of Children who are before the Court as a result of abuse or neglect as defined by the State Child Welfare Laws.

For more information, contact:
Pres., Gene Rogers,(361) 246-0005 or Sec., Laura Pollard, (361) 592-6802

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Nominate a CASA Campaign Underway

DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO WOULD BE AN AMAZING CASA ADVOCATE?

Texas CASA's nominate a CASA campaign is underway!! This is an amazing opportunity for CASA programs to mulitiply by having existing volunteers, stakeholders, and friends of CASA nominate a friend to join in on this premier volunteer expereience.
 
If you know someone who you feel has the heartstrength and compassion to speak up for children, let us know!
Court Appointed Special Advocates are volunteers who pledge to give their time helping children move through the foster care system. They are not foster parents, but advocates who speak on behalf of a child at court hearings and use their voice to put the best interests of the child first.
 
Being a CASA volunteer takes a special kind of person. If you know someone who you believe has the qualities to give children another chance, visit http://texascasa.org/nominate-a-casa/ and enter their information. Texas CASA will send them more information and let them know that you think so highly of them!
 
Don't have computer access, contact any of our CASA staff to help you submit your nomination!
Continuing Ed

2017 Continuing Education

It's a NEW YEAR, a fresh start, and time to start thinking about your continuing education!

We, at CASA, have been searching high and low for new training classes, seminars and webinars so that getting your annual continuing education hours is easier than ever. In addition, we have a list of movies, books and tv shows you can watch at home! (Ask Nicole for more info.)

FREE CASA WEBINARS
Did you know that Texas CASA has a CASA College resources on their website? CASA College is geared towards helping our volunteers learn more about several topics that may include everyday challenges within your case. Texas CASA has over 40 webinars available to you at the click of a button!!!

To register for CASA College please visit https://casacollege.myabsorb.com/#/login.
Click the "Sign Up" button to set up your username and password.
Once completed, you have instant access to all of the valuable information Texas CASA has to offer.

For help setting up your account please contact Nicole at 361.595.7233.
Don't forget to submit proof of attending any webinars! Turn these into Nicole Johnson to ensure that your continuing education hours are being accounted for correctly.

MOVIES, BOOKS, AND TELEVISON
A list of movies, books and tv shows are available for you to watch at home!
At times, we are unaware of just how many items we are reading and watching that can potentially go towards continuing education. (Ask Nicole for more info.)

 
Below is a list of a FEW topics that we accept:
Advocacy Skills
Child Permanence
Child Abuse and Neglect
Cultural Awareness
Domestic Violence
Family Dynamics
Substance Abuse
Survival Skills
Mental health
Foster Care

When in doubt shoot Nicole an email, casarecruiter.7233@sbcglobal.net. She is happy to help.

Thank you so much for doing your part in helping Brush Country CASA stay in compliance with Texas CASA Standards.
We appreciate you!!!