By Alexa Williams
ANDREWS: CASA is in need of volunteers across the entire Permian Basin but especially in Andrews. The small town had nearly 40 child abuse cases last year and they only have three volunteers.
"We just need people so badly because these people need someone to speak for their best interest because a lot of times they don't have anyone else," Angela Smith, a CASA volunteer in Andrews, said.
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. These volunteers help children who were in abusive situations and guide them to a new, safe and permanent home. The advocates also work with judges and after meeting with the children, they recommend what they think is best for the kids.
"Children that have advocates have better outcomes and they stay in foster care for less time," Kathy Harmon, head of recruiting with CASA of West Texas, said.
But because of the lack of volunteers in Andrews, CASA has had to turn down cases.
"The judge appoints us to cases as they come in and we've had to decline some of our appointments recently," Harmon said.
The organization is hopeful they can get more people involved so they can lend a helping hand to children who need it most.
"It's very rewarding. The children are very loving and they need someone. It just makes you feel really good to be able to help them," Smith said.