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07.15.2015

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Reflections From the CEO/President

As I reflect on our past fiscal year, I am proud to announce our great strides forward in serving the abused and neglected children of Bexar County.  Sadly, child abuse and neglect is an issue of high incidence in Bexar County and South Texas, resulting in 5,434 confirmed victims of abuse or neglect in the last year and 12 child abuse or neglect related fatalities. Unfortunately, 1,887 of these children were removed from their homes and placed in Bexar County’s Child Protective Services (CPS) system last year.

Child Advocates San Antonio (CASA) has been working on behalf of these children who have been removed from their home due to abuse and neglect. Our Advocates are at the forefront of fighting the epidemic of child abuse in our community. This past year, CASA recruited 230 new volunteer advocates, allowing us to serve 1,896 children with a total of 571 advocates.  This represents an increase of 240 children served by an additional 71 advocates from the previous year.

We not only saw the number of overall Advocates increase, but our volunteers are increasingly more diverse and mirror the children we serve.  Our non-Anglo volunteers rose from only 43% of our volunteer force to 46%.  As a result, this past year, National CASA ranked our volunteers “Most Diverse” compared to all other CASAs in the country, and recently awarded Child Advocates San Antonio the “National Inclusion Award,” which recognizes one CASA Program in the nation that demonstrates the greatest commitment to diversity.  We also received the San Antonio Bar Association’s 2015 Corporate Community Service Award. 

Although we have grown our organization in order to meet the needs of our community, we are still only serving approximately 60% of the children currently in need.  I know that we must do more as a community to make certain every child entering the CPS system has their needs met and they are given the best possible chance for a better life.  As such, we plan on serving an additional 150 children this year, bringing our total to 2,050 children served with 585 volunteer Advocates. 

Together as a community, we have made significant strides to improve outcomes for children in the foster care system.  With your help, we will continue to grow so that one day every child who needs a volunteer Advocate will have one.  Thank you for your support because together we will find safe, loving, and permanent homes that our children so richly deserve.

 

Rick Cooke

President/CEO