The Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth, and Families was created November 20, 2007. In 2010, when the founder of the Commission, Justice Harriet O’Neill, retired from the Supreme Court, Justice Eva Guzman, Supreme Court of Texas, was appointed. This executive-level assembly is led by judges developing and coordinating efforts to improve court performance in child abuse and neglect cases.
The Collaborative Council is a 40-member advisory group that includes foster families, CASA Advocates, parent advocates, and former foster youth. Basic, Projects, Technology, and Training committees oversee specific workgroups and projects. Three federally funded Court Improvement grants back all Commission activities.
The State of Texas is the legal parent of approximately 30,000 children due to allegations of maltreatment. The courts are the final word in what happens to these children. No child enters or leaves foster care without the order of a court. One of the goals of the Commission is to increase communication and collaboration between the judiciary and Child Protective Services. There are many organizations and individuals statewide sharing a commitment to improving the child welfare system. Until the Commission was created, no such entity existed at such a high level to manage and implement efforts to improve the child welfare system.
The Children’s Commission Trial Skills Training Course is a hands on CLE specific to Texas child welfare cases, and the Texas Supreme Court Commission on Children, Youth and Families developed the Texas Blueprint: Transforming Education Outcomes for Children and Youth in Foster Care.
The Basic Projects Committee supervises a variety of projects:
- Appleseed Permanent Managing Conservatorship (PMC) Project
- Bench Book, Child Protection Law
- Harris County
- Hearing Observation Project
- Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children
- Judicial Disproportionality Workgroup
- Judicial Technical Assistance
- Jurist in Residence
- Legal Orphan Project
- Legal Representation Study
- Mediation Project
- National Adoption Day
- Notice & Engagement
- Psychoactive Medications
- Restraint Group/Trauma Informed
- Round Table Series
- Texas Blueprint Implementation Task Force (f/k/a Education Committee)
- Texas Trio Grant (Education)
- Tribal Initiatives
Texas CASA is a leader in the attempt to guarantee sound public policies on issues that affect the child welfare system.
“The Children’s Commission views its partnership with CASA as very important. CASA is a long-standing Court Improvement Program partner with its volunteer recruitment, training and advocacy efforts. But more than that, CASA is a critical collaborative partner in helping identify and influence good judicial practices and helping focus training and educational opportunities for our judges simply because they are in our courts. Texas judges trust them and rely on their advocacy to help move children to permanent, safe homes as quickly as possible,” said Tina Amberboy, executive director, the Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission For Children, Youth & Families.
If you would like to learn more about the Commission, visit their website.
The Commission and CASA do important work. Get involved. Help a child. Become a CASA.