BELTON, TX — A Central Texas nonprofit that specializes in mentoring and advocating for abused and neglected children going through the court and foster care system is in need of more male volunteers.
Volunteers with CASA of Bell and Coryell Counties are the voices of children who may not have one.
”Our volunteers and our supervisors are advocates for these children. They’re a voice for these children in the courts while their cases are going one,” explained Executive Director Kevin Kyle.
Volunteers don’t just advocate for the kids. They also act as mentors.
”That’s where they work with these children and families to try to get them on a better track in school, with their health, with nutrition, with their mental health and physical activities and things,” said Kyle.
That’s why volunteers are so important.
The organization is in desperate need of male volunteers. Only about 12%of CASA’s volunteers are male.
”When we look at the average of how many kids we have in the [foster care] system, you look at the 51% reflected in males and the 49% reflected in females. When we look at our volunteers, that’s not what we see,” said Lolita Gilmore, Recruiter and Trainer for CASA of Bell and Coryell Counties.
Many of the boys CASA helps are in need of a positive male figure in their corner.
”We need you. We need you because we need you to come in and establish a pattern or role of responsibility that these young men can look up to and admire,” said Gilmore.
She says giving boys a positive male figure to look up to can have a major impact on their lives.
”Someone that looks like them, that’s built like them and has some of the same interests as them, and with that, we can begin to mitigate some of the at-risk issues we see with kids in the child welfare system," said Gilmore.
Volunteers must meet the following criteria:
- Be 21 years of age or older.
- Successfully pass screening and background check requirements.
- Successfully complete initial training provided by the CASA of Bell & Coryell Counties program(30 hours of initial training plus 3 hours of courtroom observation).
- Be able to make a 12-month minimum commitment to a case.(An average of 10-20 hours per month)
- Complete 12 hours of continuing education per year.
- Maintain confidentiality and work within established program guidelines.
If you would like to volunteer, click here!
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