Amarillo, Texas - It's a problem like we've never seen before in the Amarillo area... A drastically rising amount of child abuse victims and a shrinking amount of people willing or able to help them.
CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates, has about 80 volunteers helping out abuse victims right now here in Amarillo.
But that's less than a third of how many they need... 300. If they can get even half of that, they say they'll be able to better serve the kids who've been abused and give them a voice, especially since they're often afraid to speak up for themselves.
Melanie Franklin with CASA says, "Volunteers will go to the child's house, visit with the child, the parents, the foster parents, anyone involved in their lives. They'll go to court and tell the judge their recommendations on whether the child can return home or what's in the best interest of the child."
If you'd like to volunteer you have to be at least 21 and pass a background check. There's a 30 hour training course, split up over two weekends, and after that it just requires one to two hours of your time a week.
For more information, you can call CASA at 373-2272. There's also a petition going around to get a bill passed in Austin that would make jail time and rehabilitation mandatory for convicted child abusers.
You can sign the petition by email Tammy Chamberlain at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you put "Petition" in the subject line.