Texas College Football Coaches Join Texas Casa To Kick Off A New Statewide Campaign To Help Abused And Neglected Children & Recruit New Volunteers

Texas Casa Launches New Football Coach Psa With Coaches From The University Of Texas, Texas A & M, Texas Tech, Texas State And Baylor


San Marcos — As another exciting college football season starts, Texas top college football coaches are kicking off a new initiative to help abused and neglected children across the state.

The coaches of the University of Texas, Texas A & M, Texas Tech, Texas State and Baylor are throwing their support behind Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) in a special launch of a public awareness campaign to recruit new CASA volunteers across Texas. Each football coach shot an individual PSA for Texas CASA and one combined PSA with all of the coaches.

Texas State Coach Dennis Franchione is joining forces with University of Texas Coach Mack Brown, Texas A&M Coach Mike Sherman, Texas Tech Coach Tommy Tuberville and Baylor Coach Art Briles to support Coaches for CASA.

“As Texas college football coaches, we may be rivals on the field, but we are all on the same team for children through CASA. We want to win on the field, but too many of our kids are losing at home because of abuse and neglect,” said Texas State University Coach Dennis Franchione. “What’s at stake is a whole lot more important than a football game. Become a CASA and help a foster child win by finding a safe, permanent home. Join the team! Make a difference in a child’s life, and your own.”

Texas State Coach Dennis Franchione kicked off the first event at Bobcat Stadium to thousands of Texas State football fans with a special airing of the PSA on the jumbotron and a CASA day at the game. The goal is to encourage Texas football fans to volunteer for Texas CASA and help an abused and neglected child in our state.

Volunteers are desperately needed to help protect Texas children in foster care. 227 Texas children died of abuse and neglect in Texas in 2010. Nearly 43,000 children were in foster care in 2010 and Child Protective Services estimates that more than 51,000 will be in care by 2014.

“Children are often shuffled from home to home in the foster care system and feel scared and alone,” said Texas CASA Executive Director Joe Gagen. “The CASA volunteer is the one constant caring adult in a child’s life who mentors the child and helps the child find a safe and loving home.”

“CASA of Central Texas is honored to partner with Texas State and Coach Franchione to launch this prestigious Public Service Announcement (PSA),” said Norma Castilla-Blackwell, Executive Director, CASA of Central Texas. “Coaches teaming up with Texas CASA programs across our state will help recruit new volunteers, especially men, who are desperately needed in raising a voice against the unspeakable. Our work is powerful, it is impactful and most importantly, it forever changes the lives of abused and neglected children.“

In FY 2010, 6,619 CASA volunteers advocated for 20,861 children in CPS custody. They helped guide the children through the overburdened foster care system to safe, permanent homes. But, this number represents less than HALF of the children in CPS custody last year. 8,300 more children will be entering the child welfare systems by 2014, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Studies have shown that children who have CASA volunteers spend a shorter time in foster care and are less likely to return to the system, which is good for children and good for taxpayers.

“We are here speaking up for abused children who have no voice,” said Joe Gagen, CEO of Texas CASA. “Too many children are abused and neglected and hundreds of children are dying each year. We need thousands of caring adults to get involved in a child’s life and become a CASA volunteer.”

Texas CASA is a statewide association of 69 local CASA programs that recruit, train and supervise community volunteers who are court appointed to represent the best interests of children in CPS custody due to evidence of abuse or neglect. Each CASA volunteer is appointed to advocate for one child or set of siblings so he or she can get to know the child or sibling group and what the children’s current and future needs are.

The CASA volunteer visits the child regularly, monitors the child’s progress and the progress of the CPS case in general. The CASA volunteer interviews everyone involved in the child’s life and reviews all relevant medical, educational and legal records, and reports his or her findings to the court and other parties. CASA volunteers make recommendations to judges about the children’s best interests now and in the future.

When home is no longer safe for a child, and the child must enter the foster care system, a judge may appoint a committed volunteer called a CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocate®. The volunteer’s focus is on that child, giving hope and help in guiding the child to a safe, permanent home. Make a difference. Consider becoming a CASA volunteer. Visit www.BecomeACASA.org.

For more information on volunteering for the Central Texas CASA, please contact training coordinator Debbie Haynes at 512-392-3578 or email dhaynes@casacentex.org.

You can also go the Central Texas CASA website:


Volunteers are currently serving more than 250 children in central Texas–but there are over 300 children in foster care in Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays Counties with no CASA advocate.

• Every 8 minutes a child in Texas was a victim of abuse or neglect.
• A child died from abuse and neglect every 38 hours in Texas.
• 1 out of every 100 children was a victim of abuse or neglect in Texas.
• Nearly 40,000 or 59% of those children were infants to 6 years old.
• Nearly 43,000 children were in the case and custody of DFPS.
• Nearly 22,000 children, more than half the children in care, did NOT have CASA advocates as they made their journey through foster care.

Source: DFPS Data Book for FY 2010 (Sept. 1, 2009-Aug. 31, 2010)
For more information about your county, go to the Data Book: http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/About/Data_Books_and_Annual_Reports/2010/default.asp