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Fannin County: Volunteers Needed at Children's Center

Board members and others gather at the site of the future home of the Fannin County Children's Center on June 24, 2021.
Board members and others gather at the site of the future home of the Fannin County Children's Center on June 24, 2021.

The Fannin County Children’s Center is seeking volunteers for a variety of roles, including CASA advocates for children in foster care, CAC volunteers who supervise children and families at the center, Rainbow Room volunteers who organize clothing and other supplies, Honey Doers who help with minor repairs and maintenance and Hospitality Team who prepare food for various meetings and trainings.

CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates, is one of several programs offered by the Fannin County Children’s Center for the benefit of abused and neglected children.  CASA is seeking adult volunteers who can complete training and pass background checks to be appointed by the 336th District Court to serve as Guardian ad Litem for children in foster care. 

In that role, CASA volunteers regularly visit their assigned child or sibling group and gather information from parents, other family, teachers, medical personnel, therapists and others in order to make recommendations to the court on what will be in the child’s best interest.  They prepare court reports and testify at court hearings too.  Many volunteers successfully manage to volunteer while also working full time and spending time with their families.

The Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is another program of the Children’s Center.  Compassionate CAC volunteers are needed to supervise children, youth and families who are at the center for interviews or counseling.  Other volunteers are needed for tasks not directly working with children, such as organizing clothes in the Rainbow Room,  helping with light repairs and maintenance of the building and preparing food for various meetings and trainings.

There will be an informational session on Tuesday, August 10 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm on Zoom.  CASA Program Director Amanda McDonald and Community Development Director Andrea Lappin will present information about all the volunteer opportunities available at the center, as well as information about the application process and training requirements. Attendance at the information session is not a requirement to become a volunteer, however, it is a helpful step to learning more about what it takes to be a volunteer and give an opportunity to ask questions.  Attending the info session will not obligate anyone to become a volunteer.

The next training sessions for CASA volunteers will start in August.  Participants will gain knowledge and learn skills needed to become an advocate for abused children in foster care.  Participants will have 4 in-person sessions on August 24 & 31 and September 7 & 16 and there will be reading and online activities to be completed on their own time.  At least 2 hours of court room observation in-person will also be required.  All who successfully complete the training will take the CASA oath in the Fannin County District Courtroom.

Applications are now being accepted for all types of volunteers at the Children’s Center.  Contact Amanda McDonald by email at amanda@fanninccc.org to get the Zoom link for the volunteer information session.  For more information about the Children’s Center and the volunteer opportunities, visit www.fanninccc.org and/or call (903) 583-4339.