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Volunteers wanted to advocate for Arizona kids in foster care

The number of Arizona children living in foster care approaches 14,000.

There’s a recruitment drive underway for volunteers willing to be the outside eyes and ears of the judge in charge of a child’s court case.

It takes about two months of training to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA. Lawrence Falvey has volunteered for seven years. He points to research on the development of children who face major hardship.

“Every child who winds up doing well has at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive adult,” he said.

Falvey works to fill this role during what can become a churn of lawyers, case managers and group homes.

“Children do better in school. They generally spend less time in foster care,” he said.

Data show there are not enough volunteer advocates for roughly 90% of Arizona kids living in foster care.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.