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In the New Year, resolve to help a child in foster care by becoming a CASA advocate.

By Cheyenne Pena


The start of a new year often comes with a list of resolutions. New Year’s resolutions are different for everyone, but one of the most common is to live a healthier lifestyle.


If you’re hoping to improve your physical and mental health, there’s one option that often gets overlooked and benefits others: volunteering.


Helping others has been found to benefit both physical and mental health, and there are a variety of options in our community.

If you’re looking for a new way to make changes in your life and in the lives of others, consider resolving to help children and families in the child welfare system by volunteering with CASA for the Cross Timbers Area.


More than 38,000 children are currently in the Texas child welfare system. These children have been removed from their homes and placed in foster care and need a CASA volunteer to stand by their side to advocate for them.


“Children in foster care are often separated from their families, siblings, friends and other loved ones, and placed in an unfamiliar setting far away from everything they know,” said Mindy Wooley, executive director of CASA for the Cross Timbers Area.


“CASA volunteers stand with them during this uncertain time, providing a consistent presence and speaking up for their best interest in court, school and other settings.”


CASA volunteers are community members who are recruited, screened and trained to advocate for a child or sibling group in foster care. They get to know the child on an individual level so that they can make sure their physical, emotional and educational needs are met.


CASA for the Cross Timbers Area has served 82 children in foster care this year with 32 CASA volunteers.


CASA is always seeking more community members to step up and advocate.


“Volunteering with CASA is an opportunity unlike any other,” said Wooley. “It’s a unique chance to make a true, positive difference for a young person and their family.

"We need more members of the community to join the CASA movement.”


In the New Year, consider becoming a CASA volunteer and make an impact in a child’s life and your own.


The next CASA 101 information session will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, at 1385 N. Graham Street in Stephenville.


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