During Dallas’ unprecedented cold front in February, families and children served by Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) dealt with the storm’s power outages, extreme cold temperatures and water disruptions while continuing their journeys with the child welfare system.
The storm had Dallas CASA volunteers reaching out to the children and families they serve with resources for assistance, reassurance and any other help they needed. A few examples:
- The week before the storm, a young boy was placed with his great-aunt. He has primary medical needs, which require medical equipment run by electricity. When the power went off, he and his great-aunt relocated to a hotel. The child’s advocate had advised the family to fill buckets of water before leaving for the hotel in case of a boil water notice. The family did return home to a boil water notice and were grateful for the buckets of fresh water waiting them. The great-aunt shared with the child’s advocate that the storm’s challenges have made the boy’s transition to her home much more challenging, but that her nephew has remained happy and is doing well.
- A young adult who is on trial independence couldn’t work due to the weather. Without a paycheck or a car and running low on groceries, she was concerned about running out of food during the extreme cold and had no one to call. Her advocate was able to secure a gift card for her, allowing her to walk to the nearby corner store and stock up.
- A local woman caring for her three children and her niece recently took placement of two more children from foster care. Due to the storm and legal issues, she could not receive food stamps to help with the two foster children. Dallas CASA staff found resources to provide gift cards and pointed her in the direction of other resources which now have food covered for this family of seven for weeks to come.