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CASA Set to Initiate 22 New Members

In an effort to meet the needs of abused, neglected, and abandoned children in the southwest Missouri region, 22 new Court Appointed Special Advocates will be initiated Friday afternoon at the Greene County Courthouse. KSMU’s Justin Lux has a preview of the event.

The special ceremony, which is open to the public, will begin at 1:30. The Honorable Judge David Jones will administer the oath to the 22 new members. Greene County assistant prosecuting attorney Jill Patterson will be a special guest speaker.

As tomorrow approaches, the volunteers will have already completed 30 hours in orientation training and will immediately serve as an advocate for children who have been taken from their homes due to substantial amounts of abuse.

As Program and Training Coordinator Lori Summers points out, when Judge David Soukup started CASA in 1976, he was looking for a specific skill set to help these children.

“The judge who started this program wanted people with common sense who weren’t afraid to get out there and ask questions and dig around for information and then could get that information back to the judge,” says Summers.

Summers says besides being a fact-finder for the judge, a CASA volunteer builds a relationship with the children. Monthly visits allow the children to see there is someone out there who cares for there well-being

For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.

Anchor Tag: For those interested in becoming a CASA volunteer please contact the organization at 417-864-6202.