Texarkana area child advocate program needs twice as much help - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Texarkana area child advocate program needs twice as much help

The Texarkana area CASA program has 80 volunteer advocates but needs twice as many to help youths in the foster program negotiate the court system. (Source: KSLA News 12) The Texarkana area CASA program has 80 volunteer advocates but needs twice as many to help youths in the foster program negotiate the court system. (Source: KSLA News 12)
(Source: KSLA News 12) (Source: KSLA News 12)
TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) -

An ArkLaTex organization that assists children needs more volunteers. 

The group held a fundraiser the evening of Dec. 1 to help finance a recruiting effort.

The Texarkana area Court Appointed Special Advocate program hopes a tiny house will fill a big request.

The advocates are called in when children in foster care go to court and need someone to guide them.

"We speak for the children, the ones that have been neglected, abused, just sort of help them along in their quest for a better life," said Pink Trammel, who has been a CASA volunteer for 6 years.

Although the job can be demanding, she said, it also is rewarding. 

"We kind of sit in as a mentor. And we try to get other people involved in these kids’ lives."

The Texarkana area CASA office serves 10 counties in Arkansas and Texas. At any given time, program officials said, upwards of 250 children need its help. 

The program's 80 volunteers are not enough.

"Oh, my God, we can use twice as many volunteers as we currently have," said Leigh Davis, the Texarkana area CASA program's development director.

It costs the program about $1,500 to train a volunteer advocate and help get children back into society. 

To help with the recruiting effort, the Texarkana area CASA program sold tickets for a chance at winning a tiny house. Program officials hope it will raise $20,000, officials said.

"The funding will help recruit and train qualified volunteers that can advocate for these children while they are in the court system and speed up their stay there and get them back and get them back to a safe and loving home," Davis said.

The tiny house was on display Dec. 1 at 4030 Gibson Lane in Texarkana, Texas. 

Copyright 2016 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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