Gateway CASA in need of volunteers

CASA needs advocates for children
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

SHARP COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Gateway CASA, in four counties in the region, is in need of volunteers to help the children they serve.

Amanda Parish, the executive director for the 3rd Judicial District, said they do not have enough people to help their large amount of children.

She believes this is the case because of how rural those counties are and that there is a lack of awareness.

CASA provides advocates that work as a judge's eyes and ears outside of a courtroom during cases involving children coming from bad homes.

Parish said they are unable to discuss the specifics of what goes on inside the courtroom, which makes it hard to show people the difference their work makes.

She explained a Department of Human Services caseworker may have 30 cases, which might equal 70 children.

However, CASA advocates deal with only a few, Parish said.

"We have one or two cases and we see three or four kids," Parish said. "We kind of develop a relationship a little bit more than that, but we're not able to get that out unless you come to the court and actually see the fruits of our labor so to speak."

They have about 70 children each in the foster care system in Jackson and Lawrence counties.

Parish said they only have 13 volunteers for about 234 children in their district.

She said they are only able to see 55 of those children.

Parish said they need any volunteers who are willing to help.

A special lunch will be held for those interested at noon Nov. 30 at The Venue in Walnut Ridge.

Parish said people can also apply at their website at gatewaycasa.org to become volunteers.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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