Heart of Missouri Court Appointed Special Advocates’ mission is to train and support volunteers to be exceptional voices for every abused and neglected child in Boone and Callaway county family courts.
They believe that all children have the right to safe, healthy, stable homes, free from abuse and neglect. A CASA volunteer, serving as a court-appointed advocate, is trained to promote and pursue the best interest of an abused or neglected child in court, and prevents the child from getting lost in the system by being sensitive to the child’s needs and presenting these needs in court. The role of the CASA volunteer in a child abuse or neglect case is to investigate the circumstances surrounding the case, make an independent evaluation with recommendations regarding actions the CASA believes are in the child’s best interest – both short and long term, and to monitor the case until a permanent placement is achieved. Through these advocacy efforts, CASA is working with the Court to ensure that every child has a chance for a brighter future.
In 2012 they had 55 CASA Volunteers who served 102 children in Boone County.Last year alone, CASA Volunteers logged 2,113 case hours, drove 16,702 miles for their cases, completed 348 hours of continuing education, 840 hours of basic training, and 68 hours of advanced training for working with older youth. They also held 14 informational meetings for prospective volunteers in 2012.
They are swearing in their FIRST group of CASA Volunteers on April 30th at 1:30 pm who will serve in Callaway County. Prior to this (starting in 2006) they only served on Boone County cases. Heart of Missouri CASA serves the 13th Judicial Circuit which is comprised of Boone and Callaway Counties.
Heart of Missouri CASA also invites local foster children to attend the Clinic at no charge to their families. To make this opportunity available, Heart of Missouri CASA is seeking community members and businesses to sponsor a foster child to attend both nights of the Clinic for $35. All proceeds raised from the Clinic help Heart of Missouri CASA provide trained volunteer advocates to children in the Family Court System who have experienced abuse and neglect. For more information, to register a child, or to submit a Foster Child Sponsorship, visit our website at www.heartofmissouricasa.org
Upcoming info meetings for those who want to learn more about what it takes to become a CASA Volunteer:
- Wednesday, April 10th from 6:30-7:30 pm: CASA Volunteer Informational Meeting at 607 E. Ash St in Columbia. Please use the rear entrance of the Alternative Sentencing Center.
- Wednesday, May 1st from 6:30-7:30 pm: CASA Volunteer Informational Meeting at Callaway Electric Cooperative at 1313 Cooperative Drive in Fulton
- Thursday, May 9th from 7-8 pm: CASA Volunteer Informational Meeting at 607 E. Ash St in Columbia. Please use the rear entrance of the Alternative Sentencing Center.
May 23 – June 27th: New Volunteer Training Class
April 24th: CASA Day at the State Capital (sponsored by MO CASA Association)
April 26th: MU Kappa Alpha Theta’s “Mi CASA et SU CASA” fundraiser