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Big Country CASA needs volunteers to advocate for children in the welfare system



ABILENE, TX – Big Country CASA is calling for community members to step up and advocate for children and families involved in the child welfare system in our local area.

“Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing, many of us have been feeling increased stress, anxiety and isolation. Children involved in the foster care system are no exception,” said Lee Ann Millender, Executive Director of Big Country CASA. “While we can’t physically be by their side right now, we still want the children who are in foster care right here in our community to know they have an advocate on their side. With so much uncertainty in the world, we want to help give these kids peace of mind, stability and connection. We want them to feel safety and comfort.”

Volunteers with Big Country CASA are known as CASA volunteers, or Court Appointed Special Advocates. These CASA volunteers advocate for a child or sibling group while they are in foster care. CASA volunteers advocate in the courtroom, school and other settings for the best interest of the child they are representing, help them stay connected with their families and communities, and work towards family reunification whenever safe and possible.

Now is a great time to get involved with CASA, Millender said. With info sessions, pre-service volunteer training and swearing-in ceremonies currently conducted online, you can make a difference in the lives of children and families in the foster care system—right from your own home.

“COVID-19 has changed how we conduct our advocacy work, but it has not changed our drive and passion to serve the children and families of this community,” said Millender. “We are taking precautions with how we conduct our trainings, visits with children and families, volunteer supervision and events to ensure the safety of all involved.”

“We are here to serve the children and families of Taylor County. We want to do that as safely as possible for the sake of those we serve, our staff, our volunteers and the greater public,” said Millender. “We never want a child in foster care to go without a CASA volunteer, especially now. That’s why we need our community to stand up and join us in our advocacy.”