For CASA of Collin County’s new executive director, the organization’s mission is personal. As an infant, Tricia was removed from her home, moved to multiple foster homes, until being placed for adoption at 18 months. Tricia understands, firsthand, the magnitude of CASA’s mission to promote and protect the best interests of children who have been abused and neglected. She is committed to serving as their voice within the court system as an advocate did for her when she was a young child.

“Most people understand that CPS removes severely abused children from their homes, but few people realize the difficult, lengthy court process these vulnerable children face as they search for a safe, loving, permanent home,” said Clifton, Executive Director of CASA of Collin County. “Our advocates are the eyes and the ears of the court, working to ensure children receive the services they need to heal and thrive.”

With a passion for giving back to the community, Tricia Clifton has spent more than a decade serving at risk youth and underserved populations around the world. She has led both corporate and nonprofit teams at WorldVentures and WorldVentures Foundation, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Back on My Feet and Youth Villages by successfully turning challenges into opportunities to enhance programmatic outcomes.

Tricia has a master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Amberton University and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of North Texas. She is an active member of the Collin County community, is happily married to her high school sweetheart of 21 years, and has two beautiful children.

With an estimated 800 people a day moving into Collin County, the number of abused children continues to grow. Over the last several years, CASA has seen a 30% increase in cases. In 2017, 293 advocates served an unprecedented 555 children removed from their homes because of severe abuse or neglect. To accommodate for the increase of child abuse cases, the organization has doubled staff and added more volunteers over the last 18 months. Despite the increased caseload, the organization’s goal is to continue to represent 100% of the abused and neglected children in the communities they serve. It is the only agency appointed by the district courts to be the guardian ad litem for every abused/neglected child removed from home and placed in foster care in Collin County. District Court Judges rely on CASA’s impartial investigation to provide them with clear, concise information allowing an informed decision on the future of the child. Because of its ability to leverage funding through volunteers, CASA officials estimate it saves Collin County taxpayers at least $5 million in attorney fees.

CASA of Collin County is asking for community help for an opportunity to win $100,000 through an online Reliant Gives promotional campaign. Supporters must vote for CASA of Collin County online once a day at www.reliant.com/vote starting April 30 & ending May 6. The charity with the most votes at the end of the promotion period will win the grand prize!

CASA has played an essential role in the community since 1991, having served more than 10,500 children from Collin County in foster care. If you would like more information on how to become a CASA volunteer, please visit our website at www.casaofcollincounty.org.