BCBSTX & Texas CASA by the Numbers: 13 Years of Improving the Lives of Texas Children

BCBSTX & Texas CASA by the Numbers: 13 Years of Improving the Lives of Texas Children

In the last year, there has been a lot of attention on the state of Texas’ troubled foster care system. With story after story on TV and in the newspaper discussing the new statistics, what does it all really mean for children in foster care?

Texas CASA, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) partner, has compiled some numbers to help pull back the curtain on the foster care system:

  • 54 children a day were removed from their home due to abuse and/or neglect and placed in the foster care system in 2017.
  • Those removals led to 50,293 children being placed in the state’s child protection system – a system that is in the process of implementing new ways to address ongoing issues like caseworker turnover, work overload and placement shortages.
  • Last year, 1,200 children left the Texas foster care system at only 18 years old without a permanent home. Kids who “age out” of the system at age 18 are too often unprepared for adulthood and lack the support they need to succeed – facing the possibility of bleak outcomes like homelessness, incarceration and mental health illnesses.

This is just a quick snapshot of the current system and its challenges. While the numbers are daunting, there are other statistics that highlight the work being done to better protect and support children and youth in foster care across the state.

Here are a few numbers that show how Texas CASA and BCBSTX are breaking down these barriers and clearing a path to a brighter future for children in foster care:

  • When a child has been placed in the foster care system, the judge may appoint a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or a CASA volunteer, to be a “voice in court” for that child. Last year, a statewide total of 10,424 CASA volunteers spoke up in the best interest of a child in foster care. CASA volunteers stay by the child’s side, providing the right support, resources and attention the child needs and deserves to help them navigate through the system.
  • Those volunteers advocated and spoke up for the best interests of 29,747 children in the Texas foster care system – more than half of the children in care. Thanks to the CASA community’s passion and commitment to growth, the CASA mission is alive and spreading faster than ever before.
  • For 13 years, BCBSTX has partnered with Texas CASA and the CASA network to fund programs, projects and events that have greatly impacted the lives of the children in foster care and helped the network grow to what it is today.
  • BCBSTX has raised a total of $1,295,500 over the course of this partnership. These funds have helped the CASA network grow and strengthen its advocacy.

One person has the power to change the world. Through the community’s support, CASA is able to recruit and train more volunteer advocates each year. Their goal is that one day every child in foster care will have a volunteer. To learn more about Texas CASA and how to become a volunteer, visit BecomeACASA.org.

Anonymous