As the number of children in foster care in Jim Wells County continues to rise, longstanding local nonprofit Brush Country CASA advocates for abused and neglected children in foster care and is urgently seeking volunteers to speak up for their best interest. Court Appointed Special Advocates, (CASA), has been an active part of the JWC community, recruiting and training dedicated volunteers to speak up for children in the child welfare system.

CASA is hosting an informational sessions every second Wednesday of the month with the first being held on Wednesday, March 14, from 12:00 p.m. till 12:45 p.m. at the Alice Chamber of Commerce located at 612 East Main Street in Alice in an effort to recruit more volunteers to serve these children. Anyone interested in learning more about CASA and how to volunteer or become a part of the organization is welcome to attend.

CASA volunteers are everyday members of the community doing extraordinary work by choosing to speak up for our most vulnerable citizens: children who have been placed in foster care due to evidence of abuse or neglect. They are screened and trained, then appointed by the court to advocate for the best interests of one child or sibling group in the foster care system. Often, the CASA volunteer is the one constant person in a child’s life while he or she goes through the overburdened system. CASA volunteers work to move the child through foster care and into a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible.

“Foster care can be a difficult time for children, and they need someone to look out for them. CASA volunteers act as the eyes and ears of the court, making sure that these children do not slip through the cracks of an overburdened system,” said Vicki Spriggs, CEO of Texas CASA, the statewide membership organization. “We need more dedicated citizens to step up and speak up for our children in care, because it takes a community to care for children, and we are all responsible for their safety and well-being.”

CASA is a national and statewide organization. In Texas there are 71 local CASA programs that recruit and train volunteers to advocate for children in the child protection system. Last year, 10,424 well-trained volunteers served 29,747 children in 213 of the 254 Texas counties.

To learn more about CASA and how you can get involved, visit www.BecomeACASA.org.