CASA of West Texas held a Lunch and Learn this afternoon at the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce to give information to anyone who might be interested in becoming an advocate or volunteer with the organization.
Kathy Harmon, Volunteer Recruitment and Marketing Specialist for the organization, stated that approximately 56% of the children that CASA of West Texas serves are Hispanic, but only 12% of the volunteers with the organization are Hispanic.
“When children have a volunteer who speaks their language, looks like them, and knows their culture it is easier for them to build a trusting relationship,” stated Harmon.
CASA stands for Court-Appointed Special Advocate, and the mission of the organization is to recruit and train volunteers that will speak in court for the best interest of children in foster care. Unfortunately, there are some misconceptions about it means to be a CASA volunteer, because some people get CASA volunteers confused with foster parents.
According to Harmon, “We don’t take care of the children. We’re not foster parents. They don’t come live with us. We only advocate for their best interest.”
The next volunteer training for CASA will begin on October 30th, in Midland. Volunteers must complete 30 hours of training and some of the training is completed by online courses. Potential volunteers must submit a completed application prior to registering for the training.
Applications can be filled out online at www.casawtx.org and the deadline for this month’s training is October 18th.