by Anayeli Ruiz
BIG SPRING - Every year many children are removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect.
During this time, foster care Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers play a vital role acting as the eyes and ears to make sure a child is receiving the necessary services. But in Howard County, there are too many cases and not enough volunteers.
The increase in abuse cases is so high in Howard County that CASA volunteers are having to take on two to three different cases at one time.
"We have had the highest number of victims per thousand in Howard County, that's why we need more volunteers so we can address these children's needs," CASA Volunteer Coordinator, Susy Milliken, said.
The highest percentage of abuse cases comes from Howard County and it's putting CASA in a crunch.
"In Howard County, we have 47 children with out a volunteer currently," Milliken said.
But that's not the only problem the organization is facing.
They're dealing with an increase in abuse cases under the age of five, which accounts for more than half of their cases.
"Little kids are less likely to make an outcry, they need more advocacy than any child, because they are so little they cant make an outcry like a 10-year-old," Milliken said.
CASA attributes the number of higher abuse cases in Howard County to a number of reasons.
"Lots of variables, drugs predominant in Howard County seems to lead to involvement with families, lack of resources huge factor to get they help they need," CASA Case Supervisor, Ashley Hughes, said.
In the meantime, volunteers from other counties are coming in to help.
"I hope that people search in their hearts and volunteer for an organization that impacts a child for a lifetime," Milliken said.