Howard Co. CASA Turning Away Cases Due to Lack of Volunteers 7/9/12
CBS 7 News
July 9, 2012
Big Spring, TX - CASA of West Texas, Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, is in major need of volunteers.
The Howard County branch of CASA currently has 15 active volunteers, but with 54 CPS cases in the county, leaders say each volunteer is assigned one case. That leaves more than half without an advocate.
"Because we don't have enough volunteers, we're not able to serve 100%," Sara Basaldua, CASA Volunteer Coordinator said. "We're having to decline cases and we're not getting appointed to cases with children under 4yrs old."
Basaldua says that the reality they're facing is tough.
"Every child, regardless of age needs to have a representative that can advocate for their best interest in the court system," she said.
Stacy Cole, one of the Howard County volunteers, says although she's new to CASA the experience hasn't taken much out of her schedule and the time she has put in has been priceless.
"It's probably the most rewarding experience I've ever had," she said. "It's amazing how little time makes a difference."
Once a person has completed the process of becoming a volunteer, the time spent on a case is not only important, but it's also rather flexible.
"The schedule as far as the time alotted is very flexible and up to them," Basaldua said.
Cole says it's the relationship you build with your appointed child that makes the experience worth it.
"Sometimes you're the only constant in their lives," she said. "It's changed my life and my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner."
A training for new CASA Volunteers in Howard County is scheduled from July 17 to July 26, 2012.
For more information, call: 432-683-1114.