By: Sarah Snyder
MIDLAND - A drastic spike in child abuse cases has one local advocacy group trying to find help. The abuse is happening all across the Basin, but the latest surge of cases are in Midland County. Most of the children being hurt are under the age of five.
This time last year our West Texas Court Appointed Special Advocates served 232 children and as of May of this year that number jumped to 344. CASA of West Texas says usually Howard County holds the most abuse reports but recently the cases have climbed in Midland County. CASA works with 7 counties in our West Texas area and about 1/3 of those cases are in Midland alone. They say, that's most likely due to the growing population, domestic violence and the economy.
"We're asking the community to step forward and volunteer," Lily White, Executive Director of CASA West Texas, said. "We desperately need volunteer right now, especially here in Midland, to make sure that all of these kids have a CASA representative and will speak in their behalf for their best interest in court."
CASA tells NewsWest 9, right now, they're short 66 volunteers for the 7 West Texas counties they work with. They've added new training sessions during the summer.