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CASA of Travis County 2009 Annual Report

C A S A O F T R A V I S C O U N T Y, I N C .

Marie needed her safe, loving family... At birth, Marie was diagnosed with Down syndrome, had holes in her heart and was not growing or gaining weight. Her 14-year-old mother was not equipped to handle Marie’s intense medical needs and was often irresponsible in her care; she would leave for long periods of time without a diaper bag or formula and did not always provide Marie with the oxygen she was supposed to receive. Marie was removed from her home at 6 months of age. CASA volunteer Ohiana was appointed to Marie, and she quickly dove into learning all she could about Marie, her family and the case. Through her work, she came to the conclusion that Marie’s grandmother, Norma, was the best placement for her, though it would take a lot of preparation for Norma to adequately care for Marie’s medical needs. Norma received medical training, but the fact that she spoke only Spanish greatly complicated the training process. CASA matched Ohiana and her Spanish-speaking ability with Norma to ensure that they could communicate throughout the case. Ohiana encouraged Norma through the challenges of learning about Marie’s medical needs and helped her to understand the process. In addition, Ohiana’s warm personality allowed her to bond with Marie’s family quickly – they saw her as their support system. Ohiana worked diligently with Marie’s nurses to ensure that nursing would continue after the case had closed and that Norma was receiving the training needed to care for Marie herself. Ohiana constantly checked in for feedback on both Marie’s and Norma’s progress, and she stayed by Norma’s side supporting her through this challenging time. Happily, Marie was returned to her family and she will grow up with her biological grandmother and mother.

CASA of Travis County exists to promote and protect the best interest of children who have been abused or neglected, by training volunteers to advocate for them and help them find safe, permanent and loving homes. Without Ohiana’s diligent intensive advocacy, Marie’s safe, healthy, loving and permanent home could have been much further away.

Maria A., 3½-year CASA Volunteer Hometown – Los Angeles, CA How she got to Texas – Her family travels in packs and they all moved here together! Education – Bachelors in business from Texas State University Career – Marketing at National Instruments Free time – She’s a runner, and is very involved with Communities in Schools, FuturoFund, Leadership Austin and more. Working with CASA – Maria has had 3 cases with CASA and worked with a total of 7 children.

“After my first case I took a small break, and when CASA called, I was so excited because I was so ready to get back on a case. I thought, ‘You know, it’s fine that I took a break, but the kids don’t get a break.’ The kids have no choice or control over what’s going on, so if they don’t get a break, I don’t either! I am going to be there to support them.”

From the Executive Director Hello and thank you to our generous and committed friends, volunteers and supporters!

We are so pleased to send you our 2009 Annual Report. This is our opportunity to convey the impact of our work in 2009 – the challenges, the successes and most of all, the stories of our volunteers and the youth they serve. Behind each of these pictures and all of these words are hundreds of real lives: children who enter the child protective services system alone and afraid, families struggling to rebuild themselves with safety and strength, and dedicated volunteers from around our community who have committed to being a consistent and stable presence during a remarkably uncertain and frightening time. Even as you read this annual report, know that all over Austin today, CASA’s amazing volunteers are making a difference for abused children --- using the power of their voices to advocate on behalf of these children for promising futures, safe and loving homes; everything we all deserve. In spite of a difficult year, when we were stretched just to maintain our current level of services, we’re proud that we were able to grow in many of our efforts. Some of these you will read about on the pages to come, and I hope you will feel as proud as I do of our advocacy and our volunteers. Sincerely,

Laura D. Wolf

Holly & Gavin M., 4½-year CASA Volunteers Hometown – Holly is from San Antonio and Gavin is from Gatesville, TX. Family – Holly and Gavin have a 2½-year-old son. Education – Holly graduated from Austin College and Gavin from The University of Texas. Career – Holly is a realtor and Gavin is a legislative affairs consultant. Family legacy – Holly’s parents were CASA volunteers in San Antonio so she has grown up with this organization and she introduced Gavin to CASA. They work on cases together as a couple.

“On our first case, we were the one thing that stayed throughout our CASA child’s case. His CPS supervisor changed, his case worker changed 3 times, the attorney changed and his placement changed. But we saw him through and got to be there to finally celebrate his adoption into a permanent and loving family.”

2009 Program Report For every child that needs us... - CASA served 1,106 children or 78% of the total number of children in the care of Child Protective Services. - Judges appointed CASA to cases for 401 new children.

Child Race/Ethnicity 39% Hispanic 39% Hispanic 39% Hispanic 29% African-American

39% Hispanic 29% African-American 15% Caucasian 9% Other/Not Specified 9% Other/Not Specified Negative Results

29% African-American 29% African-American 15% Caucasian Negative Results 15% Caucasian 15% Caucasian 9% Other/Not Specified Neutral Results 9% Other/Not Specified Negative Results8% Bi-Racial/Multi-Racial Courtsey Work 8% Bi-Racial/Multi-Racial Neutral Results Aged out of System

8% Bi-Racial/Multi-Racial 8% Bi-Racial/Multi-Racial Neutral Results

Courtsey Work

Family Reunification

Aged out of System

Adoptive Placement

Courtsey Work Aged out of System Permanency with Relative

CASA of Travis County envisions a trained volunteer advocate... Permanency Relative on their case. - Of the 1,106 children, 924 (or 83.5%) had a with volunteer

Reunification - 53% of volunteers who closed a case Family in 2008 took a new case in 2009. Permanency with Relative Adoptive Placement

- CASA supported 444 volunteers assigned to cases and working with children. Family Reunification

- 142 new volunteers completed Adoptive advocate training. Placement - Volunteers donated more than 21,000 hours and travelled more than 163,000 miles in service to children last year.

...a safe home and a promising future. - CASA helped close cases for 436 children. - 89% of these cases closed in a permanent placement, including37%family Adoptivereunification, Placement adoption, or permanent managing conservatorship with a safe family or relative. Adoptive Placement Child Case37% Closure Reasons 35% Family Reunification

35% Family Reunification 8% Permanency with Relative

37% Adoptive Placement 37% Adoptive placement 8% Permanency with Relative

6% Child Agedaged out of System 6% Child out of


35% Family Reunification 35% Family reunification 6% Child Aged out of System

12% Other* 3%Courtesy Work from other CASA programs *Includes courtesy work from other CASA programs, Dismissed or transferred cases,

Neutral Results (Case Transferred, Dismissed, e Permanency with relative 9%Child 8%8% Permanency with Relative ran away, etc. 3%Courtesy Work from other CASA programs 2% Negative Results (Child Ran Away, etc) 6% Child Aged out of System 9% Neutral Results (Case Transferred, Dismissed, etc) 3%Courtesy Work from other CASA programs 2% Negative Results (Child Ran Away, etc)

Major Accomplishments 2009 was a time of enormous challenge as this nation faced an economic crisis more dramatic than any we had faced in years. For CASA of Travis County, our challenges were not unique --- we saw the loss of contributed dollars as people tightened their own purse strings. However, even as we saw financial resources shrinking, our staff stepped up to increase their own caseloads, and in a testament to the commitment of our community, we saw more and more volunteers walk in our doors to do their part for children.

»» More than 60% increase in volunteers The numbers of prospective volunteers who began training increased 62% and the number of volunteers completing training and taking their first cases increased 61% over 2008.

»» Enhanced Transitioning Youth Program We were fortunate to be able to expand our Transitioning Youth program which works with older youth at risk of aging out of foster care. This program celebrated its first birthday in 2009 and we are ever more pleased with the results we are seeing. We developed innovative services for youth, specialized training for volunteers and broader networking with other community partners --- all designed to help ensure that these very vulnerable youth will be able to transition to successful and independent adulthood. Our Transitioning Youth Specialists and volunteers held monthly “meet-ups” for youth to build community with peers and to learn important life skills. They empowered the youth to prepare their own “youth court reports” to submit to the judges in their cases so the youth can participate more fully in planning for their futures.

»» Collaborating with Travis County Model Court for Children and Families In addition to serving on the Executive Committee of the Model Court, Executive Director Laura Wolf was selected to chair an initiative of the Model Court to look at more effective and collaborative means of identifying and engaging family and supportive adults to benefit foster youth, and Community Outreach Liaison Sonia Kotecha was appointed to the Model Court’s Disproportionality Initiative.

Olivia K., 1-year CASA Volunteer Hometown – Phoenix, AZ Education – Olivia studied sociology and English at Yonsei University in Korea. Free time – Olivia loves rock music, so Austin’s live music scene suits her well. She also enjoys playing tennis and other sports. Working with CASA – Olivia has worked with CASA for almost a year and is on her first case working with a young boy. Being proactive – Olivia was searching for volunteer opportunities when she found CASA. She felt being an advocate would be really meaningful, and appreciated the training that went into it and the fact that volunteers are sworn-in to their official roles by the court. She wanted a challenging volunteer role that she could learn from, and once she began her training, she knew that CASA was right for her.

“No matter how resilient children are, they need their very own advocate in a situation like this. I almost feel like we shouldn’t be sleeping, we need to do something for these children now.”

Carissa needed a chance to succeed... Carissa was first removed from her home when she was 7 years old, and was adopted by a couple within a year. Normally, this would be a happy ending, but for Carissa, this was just the beginning of her story. At age 16, she was picked up by the police in a crack house, and made an outcry accusing her adoptive father of ongoing sexual abuse since her adoption 9 years earlier. She was removed from that home, and CASA volunteer BeBe was assigned to her case. Carissa and BeBe hit it off extremely well, talking every other day for the first few months when Carissa’s situation was most tenuous. Carissa was headstrong and did not follow rules well, but BeBe saw she had a good head on her shoulders and she successfully persuaded Child Protective Services (CPS) to allow room for Carissa’s behavior and personality, within safe limits. Changing living arrangements had disrupted Carissa’s regular schooling, so with BeBe’s guidance Carissa began to work on her GED. BeBe also identified CPS benefits Carissa was eligible for, and secured three adults in her life Carissa could have healthy relationships with as she aged out of the system and began to live on her own. BeBe and Carissa celebrated when Carissa earned her GED at 18. Carissa moved swiftly leasing an apartment, getting a job and enrolling in college. She has entered the adult world on stable feet, largely due to her own initiative, but also to BeBe’s strong individualized support to allow Carissa to become her own unique self, help her finish her education during the most difficult time in her life and set her on the right path towards a successful and independent future.

For every child who needs us, CASA of Travis County envisions a trained volunteer advocate, a safe home and a promising future - just what Carissa needed and what CASA was able to give her.

2009 Fiscal Report Revenue & Community Support

37% Adoptive Placement 35% Family Reunification


8% Permanency with Relative


6% Child Aged out of System


Government Grants Foundation Awards

3%Courtesy Work from other CAS

Special Events Fundraising

Government Grants $552,671 - 31% Foundation Grants $521,156 - 30% Fundraising Events $303,469 - 17%

9% Neutral Results (Case Transferr

2% Negative Results (Child Ran Aw United Way/Workplace Giving $193,021 - 11% Individual/Corporate Contributions $200,148 - 11% Other $7,419 - Less than 1%

United Way/Workplace Giving Individuals Other

Total Revenue: $1,777,884

Governm Foundati Special E United W Individua Other


Administration 37% Adoptive Placement Fundraising 35% Family Reunification

Program: Program Administration

$1,241,914 - 80%

8% Permanency with Relative

Fundraising: $204,518 - 13%

6%Fundraising Child Aged out of System

3%Courtesy Work from other CASA programs

Program Administration Administration:

$114,311 - 7%

9% Neutral Results (Case Transferred, Dismissed, etc) 2%Fundraising Negative Results (Child Ran Away, etc)

Total Expenses: $1,560,743 Program

Tara A., 5-year CASA Volunteer Austin Native – Born in Brackenridge Hospital, Tara has spent her entire life near the Capital City. Family – Tara has been married for 18 years to her high school sweetheart. They have 2 children – a 17-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son. Career – Contract Manager at AT&T Free time – Tara loves spending time with her husband and family. She serves as a Sunday school teacher and does many children’s extracurricular activities at her church. Working with CASA – Tara has been an advocate for 5 years and has worked with 6 children. Why she volunteers – “It is my nature to be an advocate and to speak up, and I wanted to channel that energy into a positive outlet. So I use that energy to help my CASA kids!”

“I just know that I feel very blessed to be able to impact little lives. I can’t change what happened to them, they’re going to have to fight that battle, but I made an impact. A positive impact. And I restored some trust in adults, and that really just makes me happy.”

Daniel R., CASA Child Advocacy Specialist Hometown – Houston Education – Advertising degree from The University of Texas Family legacy – Daniel’s brother was a CASA volunteer before Daniel started working with CASA as a supervisor.

Bob O., 2-year CASA Volunteer Hometown – Waco Family – Bob has been married for 40 years and has one son. Education – Bob graduated from Stephen F. Austin University, joined the military after graduating and then earned both an MBA and a law degree. Career – Bob worked with CIGNA Healthcare for around 20 years and then as a financial advisor for different firms over the past 14 years before retiring. Working with CASA – Bob has worked with 5 children throughout his 4 cases with CASA. Daniel has supported him as a staff supervisor during those cases.

“CASA is a group of top quality adults trying to make life better for abused and neglected kids. And we don’t compromise on the best interest of a child.”

Donors $1,000 - $4,999 $100,000+ Anonymous (3) Michael & Susan Dell Maria Adame Kathleen & David Allen Foundation Amanda Andrae United Way Capital Area Greg Ausley Austin Area Mazda Dealers Austin Pain Associates Rebecca & Steven Baker Jannis & Robert Baldwin III $50,000 - $99,999 & Shawn Ball Meadows Foundation, Inc. Mavis BBVA Compass Janet & Kevin Bell RGK Foundation Henry F. Benedict Bethany United Methodist Church Jennifer & John Bird $10,000 - $49,999 William E. Blood Stephanie & Gregory Bobrek Anonymous (2) Boon Insurance Management 3M Services, L.P. Paula Boon Applied Materials Shari & Robert Butler Conway & Associates, Inc. The Honorable Harriet O’Neill & Mr. Kerry Cammack Dell Foundation Everett J. Carmody Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. Centennial Ventures Harutunian Engineering Inc. Bonita Griffith & David Chasis Claire E. Closmann Debbie & Bryan Holley Elizabeth & Walter Cochran The Junior League of Austin Concept Services Catherine Connolly & Martin J. Mary & Bill LaRosa Gramlich Lola Wright Foundation Denise & Jerry Conway Yolanda & Chris Conyers Lowe Foundation Covenant Benefits, P.L.L.C. Sue Milburn Charitable Memorial Mark Dallman Theodore P. Davis Charitable Trust Trust John Michael Dempsey NFL Alumni, Inc. The Honorable & Mrs. John K. Dietz The Dorset Foundation, Inc. Barbara & Leon Schmidt Rosemary & Russell Douglass Shield-Ayres Foundation Laura & Dru Dunworth Texas Bar Foundation Dynamic Reprographics, Inc. Emerson Process Management Topfer Family Foundation Entrepreneurs Foundation of Laura Wolf & Fred Aus Central Texas ExxonMobil Foundation Ila & John Falvey Frost National Bank $5,000 - $9,999 Fulcrum Capital Holdings Balcones Pain Consultants Liz & Eric Goldreyer A Greater Austin Development Brown McCarroll, L.L.P. Co., Ltd. Coca-Cola North America Guaranty Financial Services Jamie & James Cotton Gail & Harold Hamilton Corey Hart Nedra & Kris Hawkins The Honorable & Mrs. Joseph H. Hart Carolyn & Tom Nicewarner H-E-B Nordstrom Shari & Colin Hodges Eric Hopkins Scott Woodbury Humana

Elizabeth Hummer Denise Hyde Admiral Bobby Inman & Mrs. Nancy Inman Kappa Alpha Theta - UT Chapter Germana & Peter Kappler Kasling, Hemphill, Dolezal & Atwell, L.L.P. KCL Foundation Barbara & Kevin Kliefoth Louis J. & Millie M. Kocurek Charitable Foundation Savan Kotecha Deanna Kuykendall Craig Laubacher LCRA Employees’ United Charities Lesley & Morgan Ledwell Jill & Kirk Lewis Lisa & Todd Lewis Joyce & David Lindsey Teresa & Joe Long Sara & Mark Luttrell Grace & Joe Mansour Catherine Mauzy Lynette & John Maxwell Teresa & Matt McCarty Mary Ann & John McPhaul Meador & Jones, L.L.P. Mercedes-Benz of Austin Morris Glass Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries Margarate & Jack Murray Heather M. Neville Patricia & Robert Otto Julie & Nat Peniston Janis & Joe Pinnelli Kari & Lee Potts Projekt202 Margery & Martin Riezebeek Maureen Riopel Lisa & Bryan Rollins Melissa & David Rubin Joyce & John Sampson Shankman, Leone & Westerman Jill & Ben Sheppard Silicon Laboratories Andrea & Grant Sparks Susan & Dale Spivey St. Thomas More Catholic Church Beth & Frank Stabile Sun Microsystems, Inc. teleNetwork Partners, Ltd. Sarah & Andy Valenzuela Wells Fargo Bank Kathy & Tim Wilhelm William Gano Houstoun Foundation Rob Williams Winstead, P.C. Margaret & Byron Zinn

Donors $500 - $999 Lissa Adams All Austin Entertainment Allen Financial Services American Lebanon Association, Inc. Gretchen & Christopher Atwell Robert Aus Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau The Austin Diagnostic Clinic Avant Design Group, Inc. Ann L. Benolken & Mark Engeling Broadcast Marketing & Entertainment, L.L.C. Darlene & Dan Byrne Kathleen Calder Cantilo & Bennett, L.L.P. Spring & Orlando Castillo Rhonda & Christopher Chandler Susan Conway & John R. Howell Covenant Management Systems The Honorable Suzanne Covington & Mr. Rupert Chambers Jerri & Dale Davis Dorothy & John De La Garza Designer Clearance House Terrell W. Edison Barbara & Rick Fisher Nancy & Larry Fuller Joseph Gagen & Joanne Hopkins Lonny R. Gorban Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody P.C.

Lisa Gray Greater Texas Federal Credit Union Robin & Mark Greenberg Ronald Greening Brian S. Greig Sonia & Vikram Grover Tracy & Matthew Hamilton Dawn Mallory & Chris D. Harkrider Alicia & Thomas Harrison Kara & Jay Hartzell Amy & Gregory Herzog Lynda & Arthur Horlick Karen Hughes-Quintos & Tony Quintos Hunton & Williams The Honorable Rhonda Hurley Denise & Lee Jackson Jamail & Smith Construction Dana & Kemp Kasling Boyd Kelly Kathryn Kirchner Deborah & Chick Kobelan Thomas C. Kohler April & Kris Kubik Landa Property Management, Inc. Jonathan D. Levy Kristine Marshall McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore, L.L.P. JoAnn Merica & Tom Hoekstra MHNet Behavioral Health James T. Miller Missy & N.D. Moscoe

Mary K. Wolf & Ron H. Moss Catherine Myers Lea C. Noelke Sara Kilroy & Christopher Patterson James D. Patterson Karen L. Perry Bina & Noah Pollack Brock B. Purslow Stephanie Quirk Barbara Redding & David Lowery Teresa & Richard Roberson Dr. & Mrs. David Russell Jennifer & Stephen Shepherd SHI Government Solutions Social Thinker Jennifer & Eric Swenson Pam & David Terreson Morton Topfer Elizabeth Ashcraft & Lawrence P. Tu William Uhlenhop Diane & Tom Voth WallTech Diana K. Wheeler Kim K. Wilde Tama & Jodi Williamson Wilson Roofing Company, Inc. Zimmet Vein & Dermatology Lisa & Scott Zodin

Powerful Voice Giving Society In 2009, these donors chose to help ensure our long-term sustainability by pledging a substantial, multi-year gift: Mavis & Shawn Ball Spring & Orlando Castillo Bonita Griffith & David Chasis Catherine Connolly & Martin J. Gramlich Kelli Donelson Kara & Jay Hartzell Clare Hudspeth Elizabeth Hummer Jill & Kirk Lewis Lisa & Todd Lewis Margarate & Jack Murray Carolyn & Tom Nicewarner

Patricia & Robert Otto Melissa & David Rubin Debra & Joseph Slapak Laura Wolf & Fred Aus

Norma M., 10-year CASA Volunteer Hometown – Laredo Family – Norma lives in Austin with her son and 12-year-old granddaughter, but she comes from a huge family - 10 brothers and 3 sisters. Education – Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Colorado Career – Norma worked with IBM for 29 years, and now she is the director of a family resource center at Martin Middle School. Free time – Norma loves jogging at Town Lake and volunteers with other organizations in our community. Working with CASA – Norma has been a CASA volunteer for 10 years and served on the Board of Directors for 3 years. She has worked with 14 children.

“Sometimes you think you’ve done enough - worked a full day, taken care of your family. But helping these children pays back with their smiles and their hugs and knowing it will be better for them because you were there.”

CASA of Travis County 2009 Board of Directors President Shawn Ball Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.

Directors Lissa Adams Jamail & Smith Construction

Immediate Past President Denise Conway

Shari Butler RMC Research Corporation

Austin Sonic, Inc.

Orlando Castillo Sigma Solutions

First Vice President David Rubin

David Chasis Chasis Consulting, Inc.

ProfitFuel, Inc.

Jamie Cotton Community Volunteer

Secretary/Treasurer Lee E. Potts

Matt Hamilton Fulcrum Capital

Brown McCarroll, L.L.P.

Debbie Holley Community Volunteer

Development Chair April Kubik Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

Todd Lewis Austin Christian Fellowship

Governance Chair David Laibovitz

Joyce Lindsey Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation

Travis County District Attorney’s Office

Kirk Lewis Home City Austin

Legal Advisor Kemp Kasling

Erin Nelson Dell, Inc.

Kasling, Hemphill, Dolezal & Atwell, L.L.P.

Andy Valenzuela Dell, Inc.


CASA of Travis County exists to promote and protect the best interest of children who have been abused or neglected, by training volunteers to advocate for them in courts, in schools and in our community to help them find safe, permanent and loving homes.


For every child who needs us, CASA of Travis County envisions a trained volunteer advocate, a safe home and a promising future.

A Project of

C A S A O F T R A V I S C O U N T Y, I N C .

Supported by

A portion of this printing has been donated by

6330 Highway 290 E, Ste 350 Austin, Texas 78723 phone 512.459.2272

CASA of Travis County 2009 Annual Report  

Get to know our CASA volunteers and read about everything CASA of Travis County accomplished in 2009 in our Annual Report.

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