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Local nonprofit serving foster children of RGV in need of volunteers

A local nonprofit organization that assists children of abuse in the Rio Grande Valley is in need of volunteers.

A local nonprofit organization that serves foster children in the Rio Grande Valley is in need of volunteers.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Cameron & Willacy Counties assists children going through the foster care system. Currently, the nonprofit is serving 58 percent of the children in foster care—that's 92 cases with 187 children.

"Still, there are 42 percent of children who are placed in foster care in Cameron and Willacy counties that we're not able to provide CASA services for, because of the lack of volunteers," said CASA Volunteer Coordinator Joe Medrano.

Each volunteer is assigned to one case involving neglected or abused children and serve as their voice in the courtroom. According to Medrano, many children goes to multiple foster homes a year.

"They have no body in their life who will just listen to them—who is just there for them," Medrano said.

A CASA volunteer must meet the following criteria:

  • Be 21 years of age or older.
  • Successfully pass screening and background check requirements.
  • Successfully complete initial training provided by the CASA of Cameron and Willacy Counties program. (30 hours of initial training plus 3 hours of courtroom observation & 12 hours of continuing education)
  • Be able to make a 12-month minimum commitment to a case. (An average of 10-15 hours per month)
  • Be able to keep information confidential and work within established program guidelines.

A volunteer training session is scheduled for Jan. 22 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the CASA office in Brownsville.

For more information, call the CASA office at 956- 546-6545, or click here.

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