Laredo Bloggers For Voz De Niños {Campaign & Give-Away}

Local Bloggers For VDN
   

This week,  Critters And Crayons is joining three other Laredo Blogs, Que Fregados, La Sanbe and Dividing By 10,  in an informational campaign to help spread the word about  Voz De Niños!

Between July 9th and July 13th, 2013, you will find resources about the important Voz De Niños mission as well as information about how you can help the many children in need throughout Webb County by checking the participating Laredo blogs!  

 

READ THE POSTS IN OUR BLOGGING SERIES:

 

ENTER THE VOZ DE NINOS GIVE-AWAY!

 

CRITTERS AND CRAYONS’ INTERVIEW OF VOZ DE NINOS STAFF 

 

LA SANBE’S PROFILE OF VOZ DE NINOS VOLUNTEERS

 

QUE FREGADOS LOOK AT VOZ DE NINOS

 

DIVIDING BY 10′s INTERVIEW WITH STEPHANIE, A VOLUNTEER

 
 
 

What Is Voz De Niños?

 

“Voz de Niños advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the court system through the training and support of community volunteers.

Voz de Niños is the local Court Appointed Special Advocate program serving the abused and neglected children of Webb County.

Established in 2007, Voz de Niños is the only organization of its type in Webb County because it participates solely in civil matters affecting abused and neglected minors.

Voz de Niños Volunteers are appointed to serve as Guardian ad Litem by the presiding court.”

 

To learn more about the growing need for volunteers to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates to abused and neglected children,

I interviewed two Voz De Niños Staff Members:  

 

Alexis Herrera (Voz De Niños’ Volunteer Coordinator) and

Alicia Coronado (Voz De Niños’ Casework Supervisor).

 

The commitment to the challenging mission exhibited by these two ladies is inspirational.

Alexis’ career path is grounded in volunteerism from the time that she started her social work experience as part of the social work program at the University of Texas at Austin where she worked with children and families who faced poverty and home displacement.  She witnessed the value of a proactive and involved community that acquired resources to aid the empowerment of its citizens.

Alicia hails from Chicago and worked with non-profits whose focus were in the areas of child issues, poverty and education before arriving to our City of Laredo.

Both women were drawn to Voz De Niños for the importance of the mission and the opportunity to be a part of the community’s growth and betterment.

 

I was surprised by what Alexis and Alicia had to say about the need in Webb County for volunteers to help children in the foster care system.  

Here are some of the highlights.

 

CRITTERS AND CRAYONS:    How Many Children Are In The Foster Care System?

 

VOZ DE NINOS:    The number of children in foster care in Webb County in 2012 is at a shocking 705.  

 

That’s 115 more than 2011.  Some studies explain the increase due to the downturn economy and overall poverty; however, there are so many other factors that come into play: drug accessibility with a decrease in treatment services, parent disposition, mental health, etc.

Recruiting volunteers in general is difficult.

Voz De  Niños finds it even more challenging because of what we are asking from volunteers:  to give of their time and energy for a long period of time—cases generally take up to 12 months to resolve.

Moreover, a Voz De Niños volunteer advocate requires engaging in a personal relationship with a child or sibling group to fully understand their needs and voice them to the individuals that hold the authority to fulfill them (judge, CPS workers, foster parents, nurses, doctors, teachers, therapist, counselors, and biological parents).

For Voz De Niños, a qualified volunteer is someone who is both willing and able to give of themselves unconditionally to a child or sibling group and be an active advocate in an adult world where these children have no voice.

Thus, we have not had a drop in volunteers but have a difficult time finding them. We believe they’re out there, and we will continue to diligently search for these individuals who are welcomed to join the Voz De Ninos team!

 

CRITTERS AND CRAYONS:  How Many Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteers Are There?

 

 VOZ DE NINOS:  We have 22 volunteers manning 28 cases.    Within the 28 cases there are 47 children.

 

CRITTERS AND CRAYONS:  Can You Recall A Situation When A CASA Volunteer Made A Difference In A Child’s Life?

 

VOZ DE NINOS:  There were two occasions when our CASA volunteers were the only ones to celebrate a child’s birthday. 

 

…One in particular reminds me that our volunteers can make a difference in just one moment. 

 

A CASA volunteer showed up at the foster home with a birthday present and cake for the CASA child.

 

Upon entering the home and seeing the child, the volunteer exclaimed,

 

Here you go! Happy Birthday! It’s your day!

 

And the child replied with,

 

 IT IS?

I DIDN’T KNOW.”

 

 

Alexis and Alicia want to impress on the community that CASA volunteers make a lasting effect on a child’s life.

As dedicated staff members, they see the fear and frustration in the eyes of the children they are trying to help.

The children do not understand what is happening as they are stripped from the only caregiver(s) they have ever known.

Voz De Niños Staff and Volunteers have seen the hopelessness in youth that lead to poor academic performance, behavioral problems and seeming failures.  But, they have also seen that CASA volunteers make a lasting effect on a child’s life by offering simple encouragement, an interest in the child, or a simple “Happy Birthday”.

 

I encourage everyone to watch

THIS EXCELLENT VOZ DE NINOS VIDEO

on YouTube.  

 

You can hear from CASA Volunteers who have made a direct impact in a child’s life for the better.

At the time it was published, the number of children in the program was under 600 and we have seen that number grow quickly to over 700.

You’ll  see the impact and importance of this community program and the need for people to answer the call to help.

For More Resources

About Voz De Ninos

 

 Voz De Niños Frequently Asked Questions 

 

Find Voz De Niños On

 The Web Facebook, On Twitter, On YouTube

 

Become A CASA

 

Description of Volunteer Duties (Click To Enlarge)

 

Voz De Ninos Qualifications Page 1

 

 

Voz De Ninos Qualifications Page 2

 

 

And Don’t Forget To Enter The  

 

Laredo Bloggers For Voz De Niños

Give-Away!

 

Click The Image Below To Go To

The Give-Away Entry Form!

 

 

Laredo Bloggers For Voz De Ninos Give-Away

 

Many, Many Thanks To The Generous Sponsors Behind The Give-Away!

 

Oishii International Grill

 

Lolita’s Bistro

 

Critters And Crayons

 
 

South Hill Designs By Jessica Eliana Marroquin

 
 

DO YOU THINK YOU CAN ANSWER THE CALL TO HELP CHILDREN IN NEED?

 

 
 

PLEASE CONTACT VOZ DE NINOS…..

 
 

 

THEY WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.

 
 

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4 Responses to Laredo Bloggers For Voz De Niños {Campaign & Give-Away}

  1. Pingback: A tiny look at Voz de Niños | Que Fregados

  2. Congratulations, Monica W.! You won the give-away! Please contact me at crittersandcrayons(at)gmail.com by 1230 PM on 18 July to confirm you are the winner. If we cannot make contact with you, we will need to re-draw at that time. Thanks for entering!

  3. Wow – this is a great organization in what they do. A big hand for their volunteers and for you in making us aware that there are people making a huge difference in childrens lives.

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