Child Advocates of Fort Bend Honors Legislators

Ruthanne Mefford, Larissa Plunto of Lois Kolkhorst’s office, John Zerwas and Vicki Spriggs.

Ruthanne Mefford, Larissa Plunto of Lois Kolkhorst’s office, John Zerwas and Vicki Spriggs.

Child Advocates of Fort Bend, one of the 72 local Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs in Texas that recruit, screen and train volunteers to advocate for children in court, honored Senator Lois Kolkhorst and Representative John Zerwas with Texas CASA Big Voices for Little Texans™ awards on October 30th at the agency’s Davis George Center in Rosenberg. This award recognizes legislators for their outstanding leadership and dedication to improving the child protection system and ensuring the most vulnerable children’s voices were heard at the Capitol during the 84th Legislative Session.

“These legislators are strong advocates for CASA and are both very deserving of this recognition,” said Ruthanne Mefford, Chief Executive Officer of Child Advocates of Fort Bend. “We are fortunate to have their support as they continue to show us that they care about the best interests of children and youth in the child protection system.”

During her first session as a state senator, Kolkhorst authored critical legislation SB 830, which creates an independent ombudsman for children and youth in foster care housed within the Health and Human Service’s Commission’s (HHSC) ombudsman’s office. A leading voice on health and education issues in the Texas House, Zerwas sponsored SB 354, which moves administration of funding for CASA and Children’s Advocacy Centers to HHSC from the OAG. Additionally, as chair of the House Higher Education Committee, he helped advance HB 3748, the foster children education bill, through Committee at a crucial point in the session.

Kolkhorst and Zerwas are two of a dozen legislators Texas CASA has chosen to honor for being legislative champions and leaders this past session in partnership with the local CASA programs in their districts.

For more information on Child Advocates of Fort Bend, contact 281-344-5146 or visit