Casas for CASA at South Plains Mall - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/11/10

Casas for CASA at South Plains Mall

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Each year around one thousand abused and neglected children in the South Plains area are put in foster care. The organization trying to help those children need your help to raise money during their 5th annual Casas for CASA fundraiser.

CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, help give those abused children a voice so judges can make the best decisions about their future. "Unfortunately the Lubbock region has had the highest confirmed rate of child abuse per capita in the state of Texas for several years. So that means we serve a lot of children here at CASA," executive director of CASA Jennie Hill said.

During the fundraiser raffle tickets are on sale for five different custom built play houses donated by local home builders, and each dollar raised, goes to helping abused children get a volunteer they can count on.

After paired with the abused children, the CASA volunteers talk with the child, along with their family and friends to help the judge make an informed decision on where the child should be placed. They're also there to give comfort to those kids who've already had a rough start. "It's often a very frightening time for children who are being placed into foster care they're not sure what's going on why they're world's all of a sudden being turned upside down," said Hill.

With these kids being in and out of foster care, sometimes their CASA is one of the only constants in their lives. "That makes all the difference in the world to that child that they know this person is going to be providing that continuity, someone they can rely on," said Hill.

With CASA, a child spends five months less in foster care than children who do not have casa help. "That's one of the unique things about CASA to try and help those kids understand," said Hill, "and to also to help make sure that they spent less time in that foster care system, in that point of limbo."  

Only one in four of those children needing a CASA volunteer get one. Anyone 21-years-old, who can pass a criminal background check, and who completes 30 hours of training can be a volunteer, but it cost CASA around $300 to train each volunteer.

To help with those expenses, CASA is hoping to raise around $25,000 during their fundraiser that ends August 27th. Raffle tickets are $5 each or five tickets for $20. You can buy them at the South Plains Mall or online by (click here).

Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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