Texarkana, TX 69° Tue H 83° L 70° Wed H 83° L 72° Thu H 85° L 70° Weather Sponsored By:

CASA is in need of volunteer advocates

CASA is in need of volunteer advocates

January 13th, 2019 by Ashley Gardner in Texarkana News

Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children is in dire need of volunteer advocates to serve as a voice for children who've been placed in foster care.

"We are currently serving 315 children in foster care with only 80 advocates," said Stephanie Fussell, advocate volunteer coordinator. "The need is tremendous. We're not serving half of the kids we could be because we don't have enough advocates."

"Our advocates are the lifeblood of CASA. They make sure these children's needs are being met and that they have a voice in the court system. These children are separated from their families and need a friend. Their advocate is that person," Fussell said.

Advocates go through a short training period before they're sworn in by the court and given their first case.

"When they're assigned a case, they might spend five hours a month on that particular case. They schedule visits with the children, visits with teachers and others involved in the case and they schedule those at their own convenience," Fussell said. "They can pick and choose when they see the children and the people involved with them."

"The goal is for children to be united with their parent but also the prime thing we're concerned with is the safety, health and well-being of the children," Fussell said.

Advocates go to court once a quarter and testify to the judge about the information they've gathered.

"Their opinion is highly valued because of the contact they've had with the child and everyone involved with child. Their role is vital to the safety, well-being and happiness of these children," Fussell said. "The judge's decision weighs heavily on the reports and testimony of the children's CASA."

CASA would like to at least double the number of advocates it has.

"We need 80 more volunteers," Fussell said.

CASA serves Bowie, Cass, Miller, Hempstead, Navada, Lafayette, Howard and Little River counties.

"We especially need volunteers in the rural areas we serve," Fussell said.

To learn more about becoming an advocate, there are information sessions at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. the first Tuesday and second Thursday of every month at 1201 Main St., Texarkana, Texas. No appointment is necessary. People who are interested in advocacy can stop by and visit with a recruiter.

To learn more about CASA and the Children's Advocacy Center, visit casatexarkana.org. or call 903-792 1030.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com