New CASA volunteer swearing in

By: 
Anna Gutierrez
Staff Writer

CASA of West Texas will have a swearing in ceremony on Wednesday, May 15. The Hon. Ellen Griffith of the Child Protective Court of the Permian Basin will swear in Pam Walker and Cara Hamblin as Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children.
Walker will be assigned a case and will immediately begin advocating for children as a volunteer. Cara was recently employed by CASA of West Texas as a Volunteer Case Supervisor. In her new role, she will advise and support local volunteers.
According to Kathy Harmon, CASA of West Texas Marketing Specialist, there has been a influx of new cases in Howard County, and they are in desperate need of volunteers.
CASA volunteers are asked to meet with the child regularly and are authorized to interview people in the child’s life, such as social workers, attorneys, caretaker, and teachers. Volunteers attend court hearings with the child and report their findings and recommendations to the judge.
“Our volunteers pledge to stay with each child until the case is closed, and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home,” says Patty Pisklak, CASA of West Texas Executive Director. “The advocate is often the only consistent adult presence in the child’s life. With about 500 children in foster care in the seven counties served by CASA of West Texas, there are many more advocates needed.”
There are no prerequisites for becoming a CASA volunteer other than being at least 21 years of age, clearing an extensive background screening, and successfully completing 30 hours of training.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a CASA Volunteer and the rewards that come along with service as the voice of a child, please visit www.CASAwtx.org.
CASA of West Texas is a member of the National CASA Association, a network of more than 900 CASA programs serving children in 49 states and Washington DC.

For the complete story, see the weekend edition of the Big Spring Herald.

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