Two Ribbon Cuttings
CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County recently hosted ribbon cuttings and tours of their new Connection Corner at their office in downtown Conroe. On Friday, April 9, 2021, Junior League of The Woodlands and representatives of the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development were honored. Then on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, Lynda and Russ MacBeth and Ralph and Shirley Alexander were also recognized for their donation of a playhouse for use in the space.
About Childhood Trauma
Children who have experienced trauma have changes to their brain and body chemistry, including children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect and placed into the foster care system. These changes mean that many traditional methods of parenting are not effective when interacting with children in foster care. Most individuals learn parenting skills by the way they were parented, unless given the opportunity to learn different skills.
About Trust Based Relational Intervention (or TBRI)
CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County aims to teach new parenting skills to biological parents, foster parents and kinship placements using a methodology called Trust Based Relational Intervention, or “TBRI”, developed at Texas Christian University’s Karyn Purvis Institute for Child Development.
CASA has six TBRI® Practitioners on staff to coach parents and caregivers, one of very few CASA programs in the state with such a large number of staff trained in TBRI. Before the Connection Corner opened, however, the organization was limited in the ways they could help caregivers in this area; CASA practitioners could only offer support over the phone and by providing books and resources.
The CASA Connection Corner coaching room
“This space is important because it gives us the opportunity to work with children and caregivers and teach different ways to build connection, different parenting and childcare strategies,” said CASA Executive Director Ann Marie Ronsman. “It’s really nice to read in a book, ‘Oh this is a way that I should work with a child that’s experienced trauma.’ It’s another when a child’s having a meltdown and you can role model for the caregiver.”
The CASA Connection Corner began as a dream more than two years ago. It was envisioned as a space where parents and caregivers could not only be taught new skills for building connection with children, but also have the opportunity to practice those skills with the children.
Funds from the Junior League provided nearly everything in the new Connection Corner, including toys, books, and games. A special playhouse was donated to CASA by Lynda and Russ MacBeth and Ralph and Shirley Alexander, donors and supporters of the organization and its cause.
Although the Connection Corner was completed in August of 2020, the CASA offices remained closed until last November. Since then, the room has been used a few times with caregivers only. As the organization felt more comfortable opening up the room to children, the decision was made to hold the official opening and ribbon cutting. April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, making it the perfect opportunity to reveal the new addition to CASA.
About CASA Child Advocates
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) speak up for the best interests of children who have been removed from their home and are under the Court’s jurisdiction. CASA’s goal is to continue to provide a court-appointed volunteer to serve as Guardian ad Litem for every child in the foster care system, and to break the cycle of abuse. For the past 29 years, CASA has been training volunteers, raising awareness in the community, and working to end the cycle of child abuse in Montgomery County.
For more information
For more information about the CASA Connection Corner, trauma-informed care, TBRI fundamentals, or CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County, visit the website at www.CASASpeaks4Kids.com or call (936) 441-5437.