LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – The need for foster care in Las Vegas is at a critical level with 3,000 children in foster care on any given day, according to Clark County.

A volunteer program that helps is getting a much-needed boost.

23 volunteers graduated to become Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) on Thursday, September 14.

They will help advocate for nearly 44 abused and neglected children in the community.

23 new volunteers will help advocate for foster children in Las Vegas (KLAS)

The CASA volunteer serves as the voice for the child in school, family meetings, and in court.

While they still have a lawyer saying what the child wants, a CASA volunteer focuses on what is in the best interest of the child.

The volunteers came from all backgrounds from retired teachers to former foster kids, even to a couple who recently became citizens.

Monica Avila already works in childcare but wanted to step up and help foster children.

“All of these kids in the foster to give them a chance and I just want to be that person,” Avila explained.

23 new volunteers will help advocate for foster children in Las Vegas. (KLAS)

One CASA volunteer usually advocates for half a dozen children, and it requires a two-year commitment and pledge to spend quality time with them.

“We still have a huge need for people within the community to donate a couple hours of month to come in to care about a kiddo,” Family Court Judge Margaret Pickard of the Eight Judicial District Court CASA Program explained. “And to let that child know I care and you’re important and your voice deserves to be heard in a courtroom.”

58 judges preside over nearly 100,000 criminal, civil, and family cases that are filed each year in the Eighth Judicial District Court of Nevada.

Those interested can learn more at one of the many monthly online orientations by clicking HERE.

Upcoming CASA volunteer orientations

  • Friday, Sept. 20, from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 22, from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 4, from 9 a.m.– 10 a.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 13, from noon – 1 p.m.