Help create a happier holiday season for children in foster care
Published 3:18 pm Sunday, December 15, 2019
To The Leader
The holiday season is in full swing. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, there’s something for almost everyone to celebrate and feel a part of a community. While these holidays help bring people closer together, this can be a difficult time for children and families involved in the child welfare system who are not able to be together.
When a family is in crisis and becomes involved in the child welfare system, the children are often removed from their homes and placed in foster care, many times far from everyone and everything they know. This holiday season, CASA of the Sabine Neches Region urges you to be mindful of the children who are spending the holidays away from those they love, and consider how you can help make a difference.
“December is meant to be a festive time to spend with your friends and family,” said Demetrius Moffett, director of advocate services of CASA of the Sabine Neches Region. “Too often, though, children in foster care must spend the holidays away from their family and home community, which can deprive them of many precious memories that can make the holiday season so special.”
This is where Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers can step in and make the most impact. Appointed by a judge, CASA volunteers’ first priority on cases is to advocate for keeping families together whenever safe and possible. When that is not possible, CASA volunteers recommend that children live with another relative or close family friend to ensure that they maintain connections to their family and community.
CASA volunteers are imperative in the lives of children and families. They need someone who can get to know them and their unique situation, advocate for them, and help ensure they are surrounded by caring people who will support them even after CASA and CPS involvement ends.
“CASA volunteers stand by children’s side while they are in foster care, providing a consistent presence and ensuring they are kept safe and their needs are met,” said Moffett. “They also help make sure children stay meaningfully connected with their families and communities.”
According to the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), on August 31st, 2019, 32,793 children were in foster care in Texas alone – 493 in our service area. CASA of the Sabine Neches Region is challenging more members of the community to become a part of the solution by becoming a CASA volunteer.
CASA volunteers get to know a child or sibling group on an individual level and speak with other important people in the child’s life, such as their parents and family, teachers, therapists, foster parents and more. With the information they gather, they develop a holistic understanding of their circumstances and needs, and make recommendations to the court. They also help find and engage family members and other supportive adults who can serve as a network of support for the child and their parent or parents.
“Each year, more children enter the foster care system and don’t get the opportunity to spend the holiday season at home baking, opening presents and participating in other family traditions,” Moffett said. “We need more members of the community to step up and get involved. You can make a difference this holiday season.”
Demetrius “De´mo” Moffett prides himself on being a leader who fosters respect and productivity by demonstrating a strong sense of integrity and setting the example others strive to achieve.
Moffett is a native of Detroit, Michigan where he graduated from the prestigious Mumford High School Class of 1981. In December of that same year Moffett enlisted in the United States Navy where he achieved a stellar career.
Achieving an honorable discharge, Moffett relocated to Houston, Texas and began his 27-year career with CenterPoint Energy Natural Gas Company, retiring in the spring of 2018. Moffett received his ministerial ordination from Church of God Ministries, Anderson, Indiana, studying Theology at the College of Biblical Studies and Grace Theology Seminary, Houston Texas. In 2010 Demo Moffett began serving as senior pastor of the Orange Church of God, Orange Texas.
Moffett has earned a Master of Science Management with a concentration in Project Management and Bachelor of Science Criminal Justice with a concentration in Human Services from Colorado Technical University. Achieving certifications in management, business concepts, domestic violence intervention, legal studies and court processes.
Additionally, Moffett serves on the Economic Development Advisory Board (City of Orange) and serves as director of “Kingdom Development Services and Eastgate Community Development Corporation” all focusing on building the quality of life in the community.
“CASA of the Sabine Neches Region is making a difference in the lives of children every day. CASA volunteers are those whose heads, hearts and hands never grow weary in helping to build a better quality of life for children. Children are not only our future they are our right now. If we don’t take care of our today, there’s no tomorrow. I’m honored to be able to assist in the development of those who we will come to depend on later in life.” Moffett said.
Consider becoming a CASA volunteer to look out for a child and give them and their family a better chance at a brighter future – and the happy holiday season they deserve. To learn more, visit www.casasnr.org. or call (409) 886-2272.