CASA Volunteer Protects State’s Most Vulnerable Children

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Navigating the court system as an adult can be intimidating, which makes it even worse for abused and neglected children. However thanks to a local nonprofit, most of those kids have dedicated volunteers in their corner.

Mandeep Chatha-Homer has been a CASA of Travis County volunteer for four years. The nonprofit speaks up for abused and neglected children in CPS custody or foster care as they go through the court system.

Judges appoint trained CASA volunteers to make independent, informed recommendations in those children's best interest.

"The volunteers are sometimes the people that are following up the most with relatives, with therapist, with the schools, with really every aspect of these kids' lives," said Chatha-Homer.

After completing an interview, background check and intensive training program, volunteers typically spend an average of 15 to 20 hours a month advocating for a child, or family of children, for at least a year.

"You really see these kids develop and get into healthier situations and that's so important," said Chatha-Homer.

Being a CASA of Travis County volunteer isn't all business though. Chatha-Homer also does fun stuff with the children she advocates for like going out to eat and visiting the Trail of Lights.

"These are the kids that are the most vulnerable in our state and they really deserve our time and our attention," she said.

--How to Help:--

CASA of Travis County desperately needs more volunteers. Last year, 700 children went without an advocate because of the shortage. To get the process started, head to CasaTravis.org

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