A local organization is seeking volunteers to help children in Central Texas.
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Central Texas is looking for volunteers who will donate their time for its Court Appointed Special Advocate program. The program trains volunteers who are appointed by a judge to represent and protect a child’s interests throughout the judicial process.
“Our volunteers come from all walks of life, and are trained to be advocates for these children in court,” said Michelle Carter, the center’s executive director.
Carter said there is a great need for special advocates. According to the center’s data, more than 1,142 children in the center’s coverage area were confirmed victims of abuse in 2012.
“Right now, we are only able to serve about 25 percent of those children,” Carter said.
Volunteers are required to undergo a 30-hour training course before they are assigned to work with a child and their family.
CASA volunteers must be at least 21 years old, have access to transportation and be able to commit to the program for 18 months, according to the center’s website.
Trained volunteers are required to visit each child a minimum of once a month until a case closes and make efforts to attend all court hearings.
Carter said after being assigned a family, a CASA volunteer spends about 15 hours a month working with the family.
“Many of our volunteers work full-time jobs,” Carter said.
Anyone interested in becoming a special advocate can call the center at 254-939-2946 or go to www.cacct.com for more information.