CASA Volunteers Needed, More Children In Foster Care 1/7/13
CBS 7 News
January 7, 2013
MIDLAND- Itís a group that gives a voice to children in dire situations, known as court-appointed special advocates, or CASA volunteers.
And as the population continues to increase, there is a greater need to serve more kids in the foster care system.
Becky Needham is a volunteer at CASA of West Texas, and after a year and a half, one of her CASA kids is finally in the adoption process.
ďFor me to watch that process and to be a little part of that has great rewards,Ē said Needham. ďMy husband and I have kept in touch with families, and itís just a lot of fun.Ē
Itís a role filled with joy and at times, itís challenges Needham said.
A CASA volunteer gets to know the child and speaks to every involved in the childís life.
A volunteer is an advocate in the courtroom as well as the community.
But unfortunately, there are not enough volunteers, like Needham, to keep up with the growing demand of kids in the foster care system.
Patty Pisklak, the executive director of CASA of West Texas, said there are roughly 30 to 40 kids in the area without an advocate.
ďOne of them I would imagine is the influx of population in the area, but there are so many other different factors involved,Ē said Pisklak.
Volunteers from all walks of life can become an advocate.
Pisklak said volunteers must complete an in-person interview and background check before volunteer training on January 22.
The training will help volunteers better understand the journey they will take with a foster child.
ďA lot of times kids are scared and donít know what will happen,Ē said Pisklak. ďAnd this volunteer will serve as consistency, and thatís a huge benefit for these kids.Ē
For more information on the program, visit: www.casawtx.org