Coos Bay, OR— The southern region’s two Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs that provide support and advocacy for children in foster care are merging, CASA of Coos County and CASA of Curry County. The mission of CASA is to recruit, train and supervise volunteers who advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children. These court appointed volunteers within these counties serve more than 175 children each year. “Creating a regional CASA program just makes sense, this is our region and our kids” said Oregon Coast Community Action (ORCCA) Executive Director, Kim Brick. ORCCA is the backbone agency supporting these programs. This merger will allow for greater utilization of resources, which ultimately will provide increased support for volunteers and the children they advocate for throughout Coos and Curry Counties. “We look forward to working closely with the volunteers and community supporters in Curry” said Greg Dalton, CASA Director. Greg notes that, “CASA programs across the state serve more than one county and we have seen other CASA program merge”. According to the Department of Human Services there are over 350 kids in foster care across the two counties. CASA always needs volunteers. Volunteers go through 30 hours of training and are sworn in as officers of the court. Volunteers work in partnership with staff to develop case plans, attend court and advocate for the best interest of the child. The CASA of Coos County will maintain their office space at the South Coast Food Share building on the ORCCA campus. There is an active search to identify an office space in Curry.