In an effort to increase intensive personal advocacy for abused and neglected children by court appointed advocates in Travis County, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has awarded CASA of Travis County $128,800. This grant, the largest ever awarded to the agency from a private foundation, is being used to provide operational support to thoroughly screen, professionally train, and supervise volunteers’ one-on-one interaction with abused children – instrumental to best representing the children’s needs in court.
Established in 1985, CASA of Travis County has advocated for over 3,000 abused children throughout Travis County. They are the only non-profit organization in Austin that provides long-term volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children. With this grant, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has committed more than $40 million to initiatives that impact children’s well-being.
“Child abuse and neglect is an issue that undercuts the future of our nation’s children. At the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, we are proud to partner with programs that work to ensure the safety of all children,”" said Susan Dell, Co-Founder and CEO of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
In the last year, approximately 1,700 children in Travis County were living in foster care because of abuse or neglect, according to the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. CASA was able to offer a strong voice in court to 1,036 children who needed them, serving 60% of children in need. Due to ongoing funding limitations, CASA is only able to serve the most severe cases of abuse and neglect.
“A gift at this level directly took one hundred children from the waiting list to matching each one with a caring volunteer who is committed to that child’s best interest for an entire year,” said Karen Cox, Executive Director for CASA of Travis County. “Each volunteer will work to ensure that a safe, nurturing, permanent home is found for that child,” said Cox.