Press Release Provided by Casa Of The South Plains:
LUBBOCK, TEXAS – April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and CASA of the South Plains is raising awareness of the need for more dedicated members of the community to step up and become CASA Volunteers, and help end child abuse and neglect, through supporting children and their families.
CASA volunteers, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are everyday people from all walks of life who are recruited and specially trained to advocate for children in foster care and provide a consistent, reliable adult presence for them during a difficult time in their life.
“Our volunteers’ first priority is to keep families together whenever safe and possible,” said Jaclyn Morris, Executive Director of CASA of the South Plains. “Foster care is only a temporary solution to the problems at hand. We need to create long term support networks that work to care for families, make reunification a possibility, and help break the cycle for the next generation.”
CASA volunteers are assigned to one child or sibling group to advocate for their best interest in court, in school, and in other settings. They get to know the child, and everyone involved in their life, such as their parents and other family members, foster parents, therapists, caseworkers, and teachers, in order to develop a realistic picture of the child’s unique situation. They engage those important to the child and family in order to build a network of support around them, so that the family has access to support and resources after the case ends. They make recommendations to the judge overseeing the child’s case, with the goal of ensuring that the child is safe and the family has the resources, support and healthy relationships needed to heal.
“There is always a need for more CASA Volunteers,” said Morris. “By becoming a volunteer, you can take your efforts beyond just awareness, and do your part to help support children and families in crisis right here in our community.”
When reunification is not a possibility for the children they serve, CASA Volunteers work to find others that can provide a positive, healthy and loving environment. These can include relatives, friends, or other adults that are important in the child’s life—keeping a child connected to their home community.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. If you see abuse, report it to 1 (800) 252-5400 or go to www.txabusehotline.org. If a child’s life is in danger, call 911. For more information on CASA, visit CASAoftheSouthPlains.org. CASA hosts numerous CASA 101 Information Sessions each month. The next session is Tuesday, April 4 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Visit CASAoftheSouthPlains.org/volunteer to register. CASA also encourages you to attend upcoming events that raise awareness in our community throughout the month of April. The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce is hosting the annual 2023 Go Blue Lubbock Campaign Kick-Off event on April 4, and on April 14 the South Plains Coalition for Child Abuse Prevention will host their 10th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Conference.
About CASA of the South Plains
CASA of the South Plains inspires, educates, and empowers solution-minded community members who are committed to supporting the best interest of children in the foster care system.
Volunteer advocates create connections and promote nurturing relationships for the child and family, encouraging hope and healing. Through court appointment and collaborative efforts, volunteer advocates share informed recommendations for the well-being of the child. CASA supports children in six counties in the South Plains: Cochran, Hale, Hockley, Lubbock, Terry, and Yoakum.
- 415 children received advocacy services from CASA of the South Plains in 2022.
- 255 CASA Volunteers donated a total of 5,258 hours in 2022, saving county taxpayers $289,190 in county paid attorneys’ fees.
- 122 youth in foster care found permanency with the help of their CASA Volunteer
*CASA 2022 Calendar Year Statistics
How You Can Help
- Become a CASA Volunteer.
- Become a CASA Donor – Join Heroes for Hope and become a monthly donor. Gifts start at just $10 a month. Every gift makes a difference!
- Host a CASA 101 Informational Session – CASA will come to your business and educate and inspire your staff about ways they can impact the life of a child in foster care.
To learn how to become an Advocate, or if you are unable to volunteer at this time and would like to donate, visit www.casaofthesouthplains.org or call (806) 763-2272.