MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- Valley residents can take action by making a difference in the lives of hundreds of children in foster care.
A local group is looking for volunteers to help a record number of kids navigate our local court system.
Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, of Merced County, work with abused and neglected children to get them on a path to a better life.
Right now, CASA of Merced County says there are more than 800 kids needing guidance, and that number is only increasing.
The executive director said this is the highest number of children in the last three years.
In response, the organization is kicking off the Team CASA Campaign.
It encourages people to volunteer in teams to take part in training to become an advocate.
"When we read the case files here in the staff, and it's terrible, some of the things that go on in these children's life. To be able to step in and be that person for the child. We had one young man that turned 18, and on his birthday, not one person called him, sent him a card anybody, but the CASA advocate and the staff here at CASA," said executive director Cathie Lancaster.
The next round of training begins this April.
It does take 30 hours to be certified, and those interested are asked to call CASA or visit their website.