Volunteers needed to be extra eyes and ears for children

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By Shaneen Y. Johnson

Community members who have time to spare and have a love for children, the Child Advocates San Antonio (CASA) need your help.

The organization’s flier states, “CASA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of abused and neglected children in Bexar County through court-appointed volunteers advocating for services and placement in safe, permanent homes.”

The organization is seeking more than 150 volunteers to be an extra set of eyes and ears for the judicial system.

Advocates must be at least 21 years of age, pass a background check, have a valid driver’s license, reliable transportation, and a good driving record, as well as proof of automobile insurance.

Advocates must be compassionate, objective and have good communication skills.

“We are looking for average people who have time to give,” Janet Ketcham, the executive director of CASA, said.

Only 30 percent of children in the system are provided with advocates.

Advocates must be able to devote a year of time, participate in an initial 33-hour training, visit the child at least once a month, attend court hearings and submit reports to the judge, and participate in meetings at Child Protective Services. 

CASA will conduct its next training class Tuesday, so anyone interested can fill out an application in person.

Applications should be turned in at the CASA headquarters at 406 San Pedro Ave.

For more information, call 225-7070 or visit the Web site, CASA:http://www.casa-satx.org.

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