ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — Big Country Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) swore in seven new volunteers Tuesday, but are still looking for more.
In a room full of strangers, it’s always nice to see a familiar face. Unfortunately, not recognizing anyone can be particularly stressful on children, which is where CASA comes in.
These advocates help children in foster care who may need to appear in court just by being a friendly face that sticks with them through the court process.
Seven new volunteers are now committing their time to help children in the foster care system.
“Every volunteer we get means that that’s more children we can serve that are in foster care,” says events director and advocate Rebel Taylor.
With trained community volunteers, Big Country CASA advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children in court, one case at a time.
“I work with a lot of at risk children, children with disabilities,” says newly sworn in volunteer Jamie Thomas. “So I kind of thought this would be a nice way to even, you know, help the community even more by becoming a CASA,” said Thomas.
Having worked with children since a teenager, Thomas is looking forward to making an impact on these children’s lives.
“I was nervous, like, ‘This is it I guess, we’re done, we’re going forward.’ I was glad to have my family here, so its a good thing,” Thomas says.
But the job is not always easy.
“It’s hard on your heart, it is a difficult volunteer role to serve because it does involve your emotions and your feelings,” Taylor says. “But these children have had their heart broken, and they’re traumatized. And so for us to step in and support and encourage them, we can help them put their hearts back together.”
CASA is serving just over half of the more than 600 Big Country children currently in the foster care system.
“To be able to be there for that child and care, to help teenagers move on to the next stage of life, to see families reunified or children adopted is one of the most rewarding things that I’m involved in,” Taylor says.
CASA is still looking for volunteers, so click here to see how you can get more involved.