Advocate News


10.27.2015

Posted in:

Advocate Tip: Advocating for PMC Children

Advocating for PMC Children

Children who are in the Permanent Managing Conservatorship (PMC) of Child Protective Services are very often in need of a CASA volunteer who will be able to get to know the individual child and advocate for them while they remain in CPS care. Advocating for these children can be very different from advocating for children who are TMC due to the unique challenges and issues that can arise while they are in CPS care.

Children Pending Adoption

Once parental rights have been terminated, a child becomes eligible for adoption by either a relative or a non-relative caregiver. Ideally, an adoptive placement would have been identified for the child and the adoption process would move smoothly and quickly after termination occurs. Unfortunately, this does not always happen and a child may need a CASA volunteer to advocate on their behalf. Unlike CPS caseworkers, CASA volunteers have the ability to focus on one specific child or sibling group and really get to know each individual child. Having this knowledge allows the CASA volunteer to assist CPS in identifying potential placements and adoptive families for the children they serve. Advocates can also assist caseworkers by reviewing case files to possibly identify family members who may be potential placements for the children or to assist in completing the HSEGH (Health, Social, Educational, and Genetic History) for each child that is required for adoption.  

Children in Long-term Care

Children whose parental rights have not been terminated or who do not wish to be adopted can often fall through the cracks of the system. These children are often the ones who most need a CASA volunteer to advocate on their behalf. CASA volunteers can advocate for a multitude of services and placements for children who are lingering in the system. For those youth whose goal is to age out of CPS care, there are unique needs that advocates can identify and assist the youth in obtaining. For example, ensuring that the youth has completed all of their PAL requirements is vital in order for them to be eligible for all of the benefits they are entitled to. Advocates can also assist in making sure that the youth has any documents they may need once they leave care and that a Circle of Support takes place before they age out of care. Often times, just having a caring adult who consistently visits with the child can make a huge impact on that child’s life by allowing them to develop a positive relationship with someone who is concerned about their well-being.

1. True or False. CASA volunteers can help CPS identify adoptive homes for the children they serve.

2. In what ways can a CASA volunteer advocate for a youth aging out of CPS care?

3. Explain why is it important for PMC children to have a CASA volunteer.

To receive 1 hour worth of training credit, read the above article and submit answers to the accompanying training questions to Anna Munoz at amunoz@casa-satx.org.