Capital Area Court Appointed Special Advocates Association urgently needs African-American volunteers for its program that helps find families for abused and neglected children, according to a release from the agency.

CASA volunteers serve as voices for children in the foster care system to help them reach safe, permanent homes and ensure their needs are being met. In 2015, nearly 80 percent of the children served by Capital Area CASA were African-American, yet only about a third of the organization’s volunteers were African-American, the release stated.

No special background is required to become a CASA volunteer. CASA is accepting people into its next volunteer training course, which begins May 3. The first step to getting involved is to attend one of the following 45-minute orientation sessions at the CASA office, 848 Louisiana Ave. Call (225) 379-8598, visit casabr.org or e-mail volunteer@casabr.org for more information.

Orientation sessions are:

April 9 at 10 a.m.

April 14 at 5:30 p.m.

April 20 at noon

April 26 at 1 p.m.

May 4 at noon

May 14 at 10:30 a.m.

May 17 at 5 p.m.

May 26 at noon

June 1 at noon

June 11 at 10 a.m.

June 14 at 5 p.m.

June 24 at 11:30 a.m.

June 30 at 3 p.m.