WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Do you want to help children by making sure they are placed in a safe home? Then you might want to look into becoming a “CASA.”
Court Appointed Special Advocates take a stand by giving a child a voice in a court case involving abuse and neglect.
Right now, CASA has 116 active volunteers serving 284 children. Plus, CASA has 157 cases involving child abuse and neglect pending.
But while CASA is looking for a diverse group to help make a difference in a child’s life, they are always looking for resources for the kids.
“We need resources to be able to send our CASA volunteers to see them, and also the money goes to the children so that we can get them hygiene products and other things for school or whatever they are needing while they are going through the systems,” Erica Mundt, CASA Volunteer Coordinator, said.
Right now they are looking for more male volunteers. Officials say over 50% of neglect and abuse victims right now involve young boys.
“They need a champion,” Mundt said. “They need that mentor, so if we could find strong men who want to join and champion a child, that would be even better.”
If you’re interested in becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate, volunteer training is in November, but they’d like you to sign up today.
“We don’t have enough of these CASA volunteers to really go out and be the voice for these kids,” Mundt said. “We don’t have enough volunteers to serve every one of them, so we need volunteers really bad.”
The requirements to volunteer with CASA are listed below:
- Be 21 years of age or older
- Successfully pass screening and background check requirements
- Successfully complete initial training provided by the CASA of Red River program (30 hours of initial training plus 3 hours of courtroom observation & 12 hours of continuing education)
- Be able to make a 24-month minimum commitment to a case (An average of 10-15 hours per month)
- Be able to keep information confidential and work within established program guidelines
Those who are unable to volunteer are welcome to make a donation to continue CASA’s mission and keep the program alive.