GALVESTON, Texas – The pandemic has had far reaching impacts, but in Galveston County one of the most concerning is the impact on children in the foster care system who have already faced unthinkable hardship in their young lives.
“Many times their life has been chaos,” said Connie Ricketts, Executive Director of CASA of Galveston County. CASA stands for court appointed special advocate. Ricketts and her non-profit organization train volunteers to advocate for children in foster care.
Ricketts says COVID has impacted the number of child abuse reports in Galveston County and her case load has skyrocketed.
“The number of children who have entered foster care in the last 12 months is 100% over this same year as last year,” said Ricketts.
In 2020, Ricketts says they served more than 520 children total. Unfortunately nearly 100 of them don’t have CASA representatives and that’s why CASA of Galveston County is reaching out for help.
“Without a CASA they can languish in the foster care system,” said Ricketts. “A volunteer is just a community member. Someone who has a heart for children who wants to make a difference. You don’t need any credentials.”
CASA of Galveston County volunteers like Cassandra Sutton meet regularly with the children and advocate for their care.
“Just to be that constant voice and constant face for children in foster care,” said Sutton. “It’s very important to volunteer your time.”