For many children suffering from child abuse, some won't ask for help when they need it. That's why the Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA of West Texas will always have their door open for neglected and abused children.
"Whenever they're removed from their home, it's usually pretty traumatic and they're placed in foster care," said CASA Volunteer Recruitment and Marketing Specialist Kathy Harmon.
Last year, CASA served about 480 kids in West Texas but 25 kids didn't have an advocate from the lack of volunteers. The need for child advocates is still on the rise, especially during the school year.
"Teachers are one of the biggest reporters to child abuse so after children have been in the summer and haven't been in school, there will be a spike in the number of reports to CPS," said Harmon. "They kind of fly under the radar during the summer."
CASA advocates are the voice for abused children in court and dedicate themselves to a case until the child finds a forever home. Cases on average usually last about a year with volunteers spending about 5 to 7 hours a month on each case.
"One of my favorite volunteer activities to do is to serve as a CASA," said Midland County Commissioner Randy Prude. "I'm on my eighth child that we've saved and rescued from a bad life."
Prude, who is also a CASA said every chance to save a child from the dark is a fulfilling mission.
"In each case, the child is now thriving and prospering, I get to keep up with some of them on Facebook. It's really rewarding as a volunteer to see kids lives change and live a normal life rather than a potentially terrible life."
MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - To volunteer for CASA, you can click here.