Want to make a difference in a child’s life? Then become a trained Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). The next training for interested and committed individuals will begin in April 20.

CASA is non-profit organization that plays a unique and vital role in the community. The trained community volunteers are appointed by a state court judge to speak in the best interest of abused and neglected children who are brought before the courts. CASA’s primary goal is to serve as fact finders for the judge by researching each assigned case to ensure for each child a safe, permanent, stable home and to shorten the time each child spends in the foster care system.

In their roles as a child’s advocate, volunteers make contact with family members, medical personnel, witnesses, district attorney’s, attorney’s ad litems, guardian ad litems, law enforcement, and any others who have involvement in the child’s case.

The advocate then makes a recommendation to the judge as to how best meet the child’s best interest. Additionally, the individual advocates and monitors the children in the foster homes or temporary relative home placements.

Two orientations are set for Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at CASA of Hidalgo, Inc., located at 1001 South 10th Ave., Edinburg,. These sessions are open to anyone wishing to become an active advocate for a child. For more information, call Ruth Garcia at 956-381-0346.