CASA of Southwest Missouri is a non-profit organization whose mission is to recruit, train and support community volunteers who assist the court in protecting the best interests of abused and neglected children in Southwest Missouri.
In 1977, a Seattle juvenile court judge was concerned about making decisions about children who had been abused or neglected without sufficient information. He conceived of the idea of citizen volunteers speaking up for the best interests of children in the courtroom. From that first program has grown a nationwide network of Court Appointed Special Advocates and Guardian ad Litem programs across the country. CASA of Southwest Missouri was incorporated as a private 501(c)(3) in April 1989 and has been serving children in foster care for over 30 years now. In 2018, we were the first program in the state of Missouri to expand services into a neighboring court jurisdiction. Over the past thirty-plus years, we have served over 6,200 children in Greene and Christian Counties and had over 3,000 volunteers. Currently, CASA of Southwest Missouri has 250 CASA volunteers serving over 350 children in foster care.
CASA of Southwest Missouri envisions a world where every child is free from abuse and neglect and has an opportunity to thrive into adulthood.
- Children will be safe while in foster care.
- Children will live in permanent, safe, and loving, family homes.
- Children will spend the least amount of time in foster care, as possible.
- Every child in foster care will have a CASA advocating for their best interest.
Child-Centered: We believe every child deserves a voice in the foster care system, and that every child deserves a safe, loving, and permanent home. We believe in the power of one person to change another’s life for the better.
Collaborative: We work in collaboration with different groups and organizations to promote our shared mission of working for the best interest of children in foster care. Together, we recognize that we can accomplish more. We listen to others, communicate with kindness, and persevere.
Integrity: We are committed to the best interest of the children we serve and of the organization we represent. We approach people with honesty, trustworthiness, and openness. We assume the best about each other’s intentions and remain ethically grounded in all our interactions. We maintain good stewardship.
Inclusion-Focused: We empower others by listening and respecting their thoughts, opinions, and feelings. We believe we are stronger as a group when diversity and uniqueness are valued. We all share in the responsibility to create a positive culture and to safeguard equity, inclusion, dignity, and respect for all.
Committed to Quality: We strive for continuous improvement, to be the best we can be, individually and collectively. We are data-driven and trauma-focused. We are accountable and transparent in all we do.