Court Appointed Special Advocates of Grayson County recently announced the swearing in of 10 new volunteers and three helping hearts in the 15th state District Court.
CASA Executive Director Natalie H. Jamison said those recruits brought the organization’s crew of volunteers waiting to assist local children navigate the court system to 51. The organization also has 18 helping hearts.
“This is the most volunteers CASA of Grayson County has ever had on their roster,” Jamison said in a written statement. “Unfortunately, even though CASA is excited about their growing number of volunteers, 90 children are still awaiting a CASA due to the increased number of CPS removals.”
She explained that CASAs are community volunteers dedicated to “help ensure all children placed in protective care find safe, permanent homes where they can thrive.” She said some children are reunited with their parents are relatives and others are adopted.
“CASAs visit with their children monthly and have consistent contact with Child Protective Services, foster parents and other professionals involved in the court case,” Jamison said. “CASAs are their child’s voice in the courtroom by testifying to their observations and contacts made throughout the case.”
She explained that every CASA is allowed one Helping Heart to provide support and encouragement. A Helping Heart, she explained, is a spouse or a friend who attends confidentiality training but does not provide the same services as a CASA volunteer.
CASA volunteers must be 21 years old or older, undergo a background check, be able to give at least a one-year committment and take part in a personal interview.
“Volunteer advocates are patient, open-minded people who have good communication skills, a history of following through on commitments and a willingness to accept guidance,” Jamison said. “Above all, they care about children.”
For more information about how to become a CASA volunteer, please contact 903-813-5400.