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06.06.2013

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Governor Perry Signs CASA Priorities into Law

Texas CASA, with the help of CASA volunteers and staff, was able to secure $21 million - a $4 million increase - and realize several policy priorities that will improve services and care to children in the foster care system.

The Legislature appropriated the $4 million increase for CASA programs  in FY 2014/15 to recruit, train and support more CASA volunteers for more children in DFPS custody. These additional funds will help make important progress on our goal of a CASA for every child who needs one.

Additionally, Gov. Rick Perry signed into law two of CASA's top priorities in the just recently ended legislative session. House Bill 915 will provide more protection and judicial oversight of the use of psychotropic medications to control the behavior of children in the foster care system. The new law goes into effect Sept. 1, but Texas CASA is already working with Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the Texas Supreme Court's Children's Commission, STAR Health, judges and others on implementation.

House Bill 1227 requires DFPS to develop access for CASA to the Child Protective Services database so CASA can review and update children's case records electronically. The bill will take a few years to fully implement, but will eventually make sharing of information between CASA and CPS much more efficient and effective to serve children's best interests.

For a full listing of CASA's legislative priorities achieved this session and to sign up for regular policy updates via the Capitol Beat, go to Texas CASA's public policy page.   

Please take a minute to thank your legislators who authored, sponsored and supported these bills and increase in the CASA funding.

Governor Perry Signs CASA Priorities into Law