There are currently over 230 Wichita County children in the foster care system.
Child Advocate Executive Director, Laura Grimsinger told us, “Last year we served 157 children who were in foster care but there were 475 children who were also in foster care.”
Every year child advocates recruit dedicated volunteers so the most vulnerable have a voice.
Grimsinger continued to say, “We believe that child advocate is a really valuable program.”
Texas CASA CEO, Vicky Spriggs added, “Across the state of Texas we have 10,424 volunteers and we’re excited about that number because it cracked the 10,000 ceiling. Those 10,000 plus volunteers last year provided services to 29,747 kids.”
She told us while that number sounds impressive, it only represents about 58 percent of the children who were in the system.
Texas Representative, James Frank said, “The foster care system gets involved in the very worse situations and the situations are ugly they are not easy, and really sometimes no matter what the state does. No matter what the foster care worker does. No matter what CPS does you’re going to be called wrong.”
That’s why it’s key for CPS caseworkers and foster parents to team up with CASAs.
Spriggs told us, “If children don’t have a CASA volunteer, they are another child on someone’s caseload, which means that caseworker is working with anywhere from 20 plus children who are scattered all over the state which means they’re running constantly to different places.”
For some who do not have a CASA, those effects can last a lifetime.
“They’re more likely to linger and not find a permanent, safe and loving home,” Grimsinger said, which is why she said they are calling on so many in the community to come forward to try to make a big difference in a little one’s life.
This year alone these volunteers have traveled over 53 thousand miles to make sure those placed in a home are doing okay.
If you would want to help a child in need by either being a CASA volunteer or open your home as a foster family, you can simply visit Fostering big country kids or Child Advocates – CASA of Red River.