We hold our volunteers in the highest esteem; they are an invaluable asset to every facet of fulfilling CASA’s mission of advocacy for children. They provide passionate, extraordinary service without compromise for what is in a child’s best interest.
CASA is the only volunteer organization that empowers everyday citizens as appointed members of the court.
In an overburdened social welfare system, abused and neglected children often slip through the cracks among hundreds of current cases.
CASA volunteers in Southwest Missouri change that. Appointed by judges, CASA volunteers typically handle just one case at a time—and commit to staying on that case until the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.
While others may come and go, CASA volunteers provide that one constant that children need in order to thrive.
Are you ready to stand up for a child who needs you?
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Southwest Missouri believes every child who's been abused or neglected deserves to have a dedicated advocate speaking up for their best interest in court, at school and in our community. To accomplish this, CASA educates and empowers diverse community volunteers who ensure each child's needs remain a priority in an over-burdened child welfare system. When the state steps in to protect a child's safety because the people responsible for protecting them have not, a judge appoints a trained CASA volunteer to make independent and informed recommendations and help the judge decide what's best for the child.
For children who’ve been abused or neglected, CASA means having a home instead of feeling lost, and being a priority instead of feeling invisible.
Children with CASA volunteers are more likely to end up with their family, and according to National CASA, more likely to receive therapy, health care, and education and do better in school, and less likely to be bounced from one place to another or get stuck in long-term foster care. CASA’s vision is to provide a volunteer advocate for every child in need in our community.
For volunteers, CASA is a life-changing experience that makes our community a better place.
CASA volunteers come from every walk of life and share a commitment to improving children's lives, a willingness to learn, and an open mind towards life experiences different from their own. Volunteers complete an interview, background checks and a 30-hour intensive training program including in-person and online classes and courtroom observation. After being sworn-in by a judge, volunteers are appointed to a child or family of children and spend an average of 5-10 hours a month advocating for these children for two years. They get to know the child while also gathering information from the child's family, teachers, doctors, caregivers and anyone else involved in the child's life. Judges highly value CASA's recommendations which help them make informed decisions in the child's best interest.
CASA of Southwest Missouri was created in 1988 by concerned community members and judges - following the creation of the national CASA model by a Seattle family court judge in 1977.
For more information, contact our office at email@example.com or 417.864.6202.