November 14th, 2016|Austin, TX
Consulate press contact: Rafael Ruiz
Texas CASA press contact: Leslie Morton
Memorandum of Understanding between the Consular Network of Mexico in Texas and the Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (Texas CASA)
The eleven Consulates of Mexico based in Texas and the Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children of Texas (Texas CASA) signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during a
private ceremony in Austin
This is the first official contact from both parties looking to help thousands of Mexican families
the difficult processes of the foster care system in the best interests of children.
The MOU sets the collaborative framework between Texas CASA and the Consular Network of Mexico in Texas to work together in
of Mexican minors or children of Mexican origin, who are in the care of the Texas state child protective services, and whose cases are included in the Texas CASA Collaborative Family Engagement Initiative (CFE).
The main goal of the MOU is to seek the best interest of Mexican minors or children of Mexican origin in the conservatorship process. Therefore, one of the main objectives is to connect each child with their family, regardless if the family resides in Mexico, so that every child may benefit from the connections and support that family provides. Furthermore, the MOU will also intent to help in: locating relatives in Mexico and the US; exchanging information between both parties; promoting the involvement of consulates in conservatorship hearings of Mexican minor's; facilitating the repatriation processes of minors when deemed appropriate; encouraging the collaboration between Texas CASA's local programs and the Consular Network in those counties in which the CFE is yet to function; among others.
Texas CASA is the statewide organization of 72 local CASA programs that recruit and train volunteers to advocate for children in the child protection system. Texas CASA supports the local CASA programs by advocating for effective public policy for children in the child protection system and by providing funding, training and technical assistance to program staff, board and volunteers.
During the ceremony, the Undersecretary for North American Affairs, Paulo Carreño King, who served as honor witness, said: "Our Consular Officials have the obligation to look after and protect the best interest of children of Mexican origin, helping them to preserve their bonds with their closest kin, regardless of their migratory status".
In the words of Texas CASA´s CEO, Vicki Spriggs, "We are excited and honored to have the Consulates of Mexico partner in our Collaborative Family Engagement Initiative. This MOU will allow for more children in care to be united with family members who can provide a safe and permanent home."
If you are interested in supporting our initiative or becoming a CASA volunteer, learn more or sign up at BecomeACASA.org. CASA volunteers are everyday members of the community doing extraordinary work by choosing to speak up for abused and neglected children in their communities. CASA volunteers work to move the children through foster care and into safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible.
The signatories of the MOU were the Chief of Mission of each of the eleven Consulates of Mexico in
Texas, as well as CASA's CEO, Vicki Spriggs.