CENTRAL, Texas — It's important to know what a CASA is, but if you don't by now, that's okay, we've got you covered.
A CASA is a Court Appointed Special Advocate who volunteers their time to children in the foster system.
Today, over 100 advocates are assigned cases in Bell and Coryell County, but more are needed. In those two counties alone there are currently at least 2,000 children in the system, so the need for advocates is clearly present.
The goal for CASA is to have an advocate with every child one day. That's why they need the community's help.
Here's what you need to know if you want to get involved:
- You can still work a full-time job as a CASA.
- You have to have a love and passion for working with kids.
- You do have to be ready to devote your time to your cases and the training that comes before that.
- Most of all, you need to know how much of an impact you'll have on a foster child's life.
Melissa Ward knows this best. She helps recruit advocates and gets them started in the process of becoming one.
Ward had worked in the system, outside of CASA before, but when she found out about the program, she embraced it, seeing how much it was changing lives.
"I just love what they do," Ward added.
Through everything, recruiting CASAs, getting them sworn in and helping them in the beginning, Ward always reminds them that at the end of the day they need to care for themselves first.
"It can be kind of stressful sometimes, so you do have to do that self-care and take a breath and take some me time," Ward said.
If you're interested in joining CASA to become an advocate, click here to find out more on their informational community events. Anyone and everyone is invited to these.
If you aren't familiar with CASA yet, click here.
Texas Today will continue to tell the stories of CASA every Tuesday morning from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.