CASA of Collin County promotes and protects the best interests of children who have been abused or neglected. It does so by training volunteer advocates to improve a child’s quality of life. Each advocate serves as a child’s voice within the court system to ensure placement in a safe, permanent and loving home. CASA of Collin County continues to do this in the midst of a global pandemic.
“Our advocates are the eyes and ears of these children. They continue to be during this time. We encourage advocates to reach out to the children at least on a weekly basis during this time. Our staff has been hosting Zoom meetings with advocates to float around ideas on how to keep in touch with the kids,” said President Tricia Clifton.
The children that CASA serves are in foster homes or a potentially unsafe home environment, so advocates work even harder to check in on their kids during the shelter-in-place order. It’s difficult to know what’s happening behind closed doors, so advocates are using video chatting to the best of their ability – and getting creative doing so.
“Some of our advocates have done cooking classes with kids over Zoom. Some are becoming pen pals to help their child work on writing. So many parts of this are scary, but the creativity and thoughtfulness that’s coming out of it – those are the rays of sunshine,” Tricia said.
Court hearings for emergency placements of children are still happening, mostly over Zoom. Children that were about to get adopted before the quarantine began are still getting to move through that process. The team at CASA has been very impressed by the flexibility of the court system in putting everything online. CASA and the courts have continued to work together to promote the children’s best interests.
How You Can Help:
The best way to help is to simply donate. Individual donations go a long way to help fund the program, and work has not slowed since the pandemic began. If you are interested in being an advocate for a child who has been abused or neglected, apply here.
If You Think Someone Needs Help:
If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, contact the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services toll-free at 1-800-252-5400, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
CASA of Collin County
101 E Davis St.
McKinney TX 75069