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Hill Country CASA seeking volunteers


Hill Country CASA is once again recruiting community volunteers to work with the courts as advocates for children, reports Diane Oehler, Hill Country CASA executive director.

At the present time there are over 250 children from our area who have been removed from their family homes because of abuse or neglect. These children are now in the custody of Child Protective Services and their legal cases are handled by area courts.

Hill Country CASA's 100 community volunteers serve children from Kerr, Bandera, Gillespie and Kendall counties.

Potential CASA volunteers do not need a legal background but must complete scheduled training sessions and submit to criminal and CPS background checks before being sworn in by the judiciary as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

Hill Country CASA is a member on good standing of both Texas CASA and the National CASA Association. The local office has been operating as a community supported nonprofit organization since 1989. Local volunteers who participate in the CASA program contribute thousands of hours each year to the service of area children.

New CASA volunteer training will begin on Tuesday, March 20, and will run three days a week for two weeks. New CASA advocates will be ready to serve the courts by the first of April. Registration and pre-training interview are necessary.

To inquire about Hill Country CASA's program or to pre-register for the upcoming volunteer training sessions call 896-2272, e-mail hccasa@ktc.com or stop by the CASA office at 309 Earl Garrett Street in Kerrville.

In 2011, Hill Country CASA served 422 children in 252 cases. That was an increase from 333 children in 197 cases in 2010. The agency provided the following services for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services:

• Kerr Co. - 221 children in 119 cases (52% of children/47% of cases)

• Bandera Co. - 76 children in 59 cases (18% of children/24% of cases)

• Gillespie Co. - 68 children in 38 cases (16% of children/15% of cases)

• Kendall Co. -53 children in 33 cases (13% of children/13% of cases)