It look's like you don't have Adobe Flash Player installed. Get it now.
The Court Appointed Special Advocates (or CASA) of Southwest Missouri is getting ready to graduate the biggest class of volunteers in the organization’s 20 year history. KSMU’s Matt Evans has more.
CASA is a program that uses volunteers from the community to oversee the cases of abused and neglected children in Greene County’s foster care system. There are about 100 CASA volunteers in Greene County right now, but on Tuesday the local juvenile court judge will give the oath to 28 new CASA volunteers – nearly double the number of volunteers that are usually in a graduating class
“There are folks who range in age from their mid-20s to mid-80s. And I have people with GEDs and people with PhDs. So it’s a very diverse background of people who are CASA volunteers.”
That’s Dan Prater, the public affairs director for CASA of Southwest Missouri. Prater says even though this is the biggest graduating class in the history of CASA of Southwest Missouri, more volunteers are still needed.
“The need is really great because Greene County does have a reputation for a very high child abuse and neglect rate throughout the state. And because of that the system that manages these children in foster care has just been overwhelmed.”
Prater says last year CASA served approximately one third of children who are in foster care.
“There is a great need for more volunteers. We always need more men and women who will make that commitment and step up and help a child in need because quite frankly some of these kids have no one.”
Prater says he believes that there need to be at least 150 active volunteers of CASA to cover most of the kids in need.
For KSMU News, I’m Matt Evans.