Volunteers sought to fill Children’s Welfare Board


By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

The realization that Caldwell County was lacking in a Texas-mandated Children’s Welfare Board as well a quickly disappearing number of Foster Care families prompted an advocate for 

C.A.S.A. (Court Appointed Special Advocate) to pursue re-instilling and hopefully invigorating both.

Kathy Kramer, while getting much assistance from of Hays County, realized her support was lacking in Caldwell County when it came to the needs of children in their system.

The Texas State Legislature created the must for each county to have a Child Welfare Board, which addresses needs of children and/or Foster families.

“Hays County helped me out with some of my cases and that’s what brought it to my attention,” Kramer said. “I thought, why can’t I do this in Caldwell County? Where’s my board, here? I went to (Caldwell County District Attorney) Fred Weber and asked what’s the reason that we don’t have a board, because nobody in town seems to know.”

Weber advised Kramer she needed to fill out a new board with a minimum of six.

The previous board was dismantled after questions arose regarding its director’s mishandling of its money. Reportedly, restitution is forthcoming, and the money will eventually be returned to the Caldwell County Children’s Welfare Board.

Kramer has four people interested in being on the board and needs at least two more, although she said it would be even better if she had eight or nine on the board.

Once Kramer gets enough names, Weber will perform a background check. Once they are cleared, the names will be submitted to Caldwell County Commissioners.

“We need volunteers,” Kramer said. “I need a total of six on the board. There are one-year, three-year, and five-year terms. I need people to volunteer and let me know which terms they want. What it boils down is our kids that are in Foster Care,” Kramer said. “Why this is so important is Caldwell County doesn’t hardly have any Foster Care homes anymore because there’s no support.

“If you’re going to be a Foster parent, they may call you and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got a six-month-old. Can you take them? I’ll be there at 9 o’clock tonight.’ That’s how much notice you get. You may need a baby bed. You may need other things to accommodate them.”

Kids placed in Foster Care range from birth to when they turn 18. Some are placed as soon as they are released from the hospital following birth.

The lack of Foster families in Lockhart and Caldwell County have been especially evident in some cases. Kids from Lockhart had to be placed in a home on the other side of San Antonio rather than in their hometown.

“We need this,” Kramer said. “The board kind of keeps a supply of maybe one or two baby beds, or car seats… things that you need. And, if you are a Foster parent and you get that call about a teenager, you can tell them ‘I need a twin bed and I need a dresser.’ The board should be able to give that to you, and it’s a brand new item. And that item now belongs to the child, so they can take it with them if they get moved. It’s something of their own.

“We only deal with brand new items. The reason the legislature did that is there is a whole mental issue with it. They used to pack all the stuff when the kids were moved in a trash bag. That’s a huge mental issue. They think it’s trash. They passed in the last legislative session where CPS (Child Protective Services) cannot do that anymore. They have to have a brand new duffel bag. You can’t go get a kid without one. CPS bought some. Eastern Star provided some and put some necessities in them.”

The last Children’s Welfare Board in Caldwell Cunty was appointed in 2018 and was supposed to serve through 2025 before it was dissolved due to the criminal investigation.

“This is a good opportunity to help kids who are already identified, already in CPS care, so we don’t have an issue of ‘do they deserve it, or do they not deserve it?’” Kramer said. “Unfortunately, Caldwell County is getting more horror stories because of the number of people coming in.”

Once a board is established, a CPS caseworker will coordinate everything with the board, then will advise of a Foster child lacking such needs.

“It’s going to be the caseworker who’s got the facts who is bringing it to the board,” Kramer said. “Then, the board will vote what to do, what percentage to do, and how the money is given is given to the caseworker to be spent. The money is not given to the Foster family itself, but items are provided.”

Anyone interested on being on the Caldwell County Children’s Welfare Board can email Kramer at


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