Advocates for Children, Inc. served 319 children in the 2007 year. Our region of Texas is experiencing a real economic boom. Along with that news, comes many people looking for work and places to live. And along with that, comes the problems that evolve with people…domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, etc. CASA knows that they will be experiencing record cases this year, too.

The program needs 30 new volunteers to each take two cases to be able to handle the current case load. The program is finding success through a new training initiative that allows individuals to do the required CASA 30-hour volunteer training in the comfort of their own home or office. Homework is given that must be completed and turned in as well as a written court report. This becomes a part of your permanent volunteer file as your required training. The written homework and court report are supported with DVDs that have excellent training, also to equip the volunteer with being able to handle their assigned case(s). Once a volunteer has completed their application, CANRIS (CPS and criminal background check). 4 references are checked, a pre-training interview is done (usually takes about 1-2 hours). The volunteer applicant may be approved to do the training. The training manual is $20.00 and can be given in either CD or written book form. The homework and court report completion is reviewed and, once approved, the volunteer is ready to be certified by a judge. Once certified the volunteer is given two new cases to work. Cases are matched to volunteer stipulations and usually a case requires 8 – 12 hours per month to work. At every court hearing (usually every 3 months ), a written court report is completed by the volunteer to bring the judge an analysis of the child’s situation and the volunteer makes recommendations about what should happen with regard to the child(ren)’s future.

The child(ren) on a case must be seen monthly and the volunteer investigates the child’s case and knows as much about the situation as they possibly can. It is a serious and rewarding work. The program is currently serving 210 children on 120 cases and they need new volunteers. Call 883-5111, ext. 11.