Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Fax (512) 463-0923

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 7, 2012
Contact: Addie Smith, (512) 463-0112

SENATOR NELSON NAMED A BIG VOICE FOR LITTLE TEXANS

AUSTIN — Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, has received the "Big Voice for Little Texans" award from Texas Court Appointed Special Advocates (Texas CASA).

The award is reserved for legislators who have shown leadership in making children in the Child Protective Services (CPS) or foster care systems a priority. Texas CASA, CASA of Denton County, and CASA of Tarrant County recognized Senator Nelson's efforts during the 2011 session to support children in foster care.

"Senator Nelson has been an unwavering champion for CASA programs and the abused and neglected children we serve," said Vicki Spriggs, CEO of Texas CASA. "Even in tough budget sessions, Senator Nelson has always found a way to ensure that children in CPS are a priority in the committee she chairs, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, and in the legislative budget. She truly understands the importance of having a well-trained and effective CASA volunteer for each child in CPS custody and the value CASA brings to the foster care system."

During the last session, Senator Nelson championed legislation to redesign the state's foster care system by enhancing mental health services and by keeping displaced children as close to their home communities as possible. As the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, she fought to fund additional CPS caseworkers and to increase funding for CASA volunteers.

"Every CASA volunteer offers a true lifeline for children in our foster care system, said Senator Nelson. "Our state's investment in this program helps these abused and neglected young Texans to find safe, permanent homes. There is overwhelming evidence that children who have a CASA volunteers are more likely to become successful adult citizens, and it is my honor to work with CASA programs in Denton and Tarrant Counties to achieve that goal."

Texas CASA is the statewide association of 69 local CASA organizations, including in Denton and Tarrant Counties, that recruit, train, and support court-appointed volunteers to represent the best interests of children in Child Protective Services' custody.

SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services.

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