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CASA in need of volunteers to help area children

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Amarillo, TX - An organization that gives a voice to abused and neglected children in our area is in dire need of some extra help.

CASA assigns volunteer advocates to work with children who have been removed from their home and put in the foster care system by Child Protective Services. CASA said the organization needs more people to step up to be those volunteer advocates now more than ever.

The Panhandle has one of the highest percentages of abused children in Texas and this month CASA is dealing with an overload of cases. About 40 children are in need of a court advocate.

"We train volunteers and advocates to work with these children and and make sure that we find permanent placement for them, and we do this by training them to work in a court system," said CASA Volunteer Coordinator Lindsay Jones.

Because the volunteers are dealing with the court and abused children, the training process is a bit extensive. "We do have a large training class that they have to go through," said Jones. "It's about thirty hours, 15 hours in training and 15 hours worth of  homework that they have to do. They have to be 21 years of age. Once they get through this training process, then they are members of the court who get sworn in by a judge. But they have to go through the whole process before they can actually work with the kids."

The time commitment can be anywhere from eight to twenty hours a week. "They're going to meet with the kids each month, a minimum of one time each month. Now, they can see them more than that. But they're also going to have to be in contact with anybody that the child is in contact with. So teachers, therapists, doctors, attorneys, CPS workers, they're going to be in contact with all of those people to make sure the child's needs are being met on a daily basis," explained Jones. 

Jones said keeping an adequate amount of volunteers is difficult because of the time commitment that goes along with the job. The organization is trying to recruit about 20 volunteers to help them with their recent influx of cases.

To learn how to become a volunteer, visit AmarilloCasa.org.

Madison Alewel - NewsChannel 10
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  • Madison Alewel

    Madison Alewel

    Madison joined NewsChannel 10 as a reporter in October 2013. She comes from Las Vegas, Nevada but has strong Midwest roots.
    Madison joined NewsChannel 10 as a reporter in October 2013. She comes from Las Vegas, Nevada but has strong Midwest roots.