EDINBURG Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) swore in 17 new Guardian Ad Litem Volunteers on July 27.

CASA is a non-profit organization that plays a vital role in the community and the lives of abused and neglected children. CASA/GAL volunteers are court appointed to speak for the best interest of children whom are brought before the courts. CASA's primary goal is to serve as fact finders for the court by researching each assigned case to ensure a safe, permanent, and stable home.

CASA's goal is to shorten the time each child spends in the foster care system and become constant support for the child. The CASA/GAL volunteer then makes recommendations to the court on how to meet the child's best interest by monitoring the child in their foster homes or temporary relative placements. Then the CASA/GAL volunteers provide detailed information to the court by producing written reports and verbal testimonies involving the child's best interest.

For more information on making a difference for abused and neglected children; contact Volunteer Coordinator Gabriel Salinas at CASA of Hidalgo County, Inc. (956) 381-0346. Next training classes are scheduled for August 22, 2011 and September 12, 2011.