A total of 134 children are currently being served by the CASA of South Central Missouri organization, but over 400 children are still waiting to be assigned to a CASA volunteer.

Every abused or neglected child needs a caring, consistent adult to advocate for his or her well-being. This is the focus of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for children.

CASA is transforming the lives of children in our own backyard. CASA of South Central Missouri, with a home office in Rolla, serves the counties of Phelps, Pulaski, Texas and Maries. A total of 134 children are currently being served by the CASA of South Central Missouri organization, but over 400 children are still waiting to be assigned to a CASA volunteer.

“Truth—as go our children, so goes society,” said J. Kent Robinson, president of Phelps County Bank at the spring CASA “Justice IS Served!” fundraiser.

“Thus, you see, supporting those who support our children is not only a moral obligation, it is a social imperative,” he said. “For if we leave our children in jeopardy we place society in jeopardy.”

Robinson and other representatives of Phelps County Bank were present to show their support of the CASA organization. Phelps County Bank has pledged an additional 20% increase in financial contributions. “Because we recognize the important work of CASA,” Robinson said. He encouraged the attendees to contribute either time or money for the not-for-profit organization.

“Through the efforts of over 90, uncompensated volunteers, contributing hundreds of hours of service each year,” Robinson continued, “CASA serves our judicial system in supporting children in peril. These volunteers are backed by a competent and dedicated group of directors and professional staff.”

Each volunteer gets to know each child by talking with everyone in that child’s life, including parents, relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers and others. The information gathered helps inform the judges about what the child needs.

With the support of a CASA, children have the opportunity to thrive in a safe, loving home. People of all walks of life are welcome to be become a CASA, after a thorough background check and a 30-hour training program. A CASA is asked to stay with the case which averages a year and a half, donating approximately 10 hours per month.

Robinson saluted CASA as a well-run organization guided by an irresistible, irrepressible and indefatigable force in Emma Lou Brent, a retired CEO at Phelps County Bank, serving as the long-time CASA board of director’s treasurer.

Volunteers are needed for the CASA program. For more information contact CASA Recruitment & Outreach Coordinator Brock Whisler at 573-202-8405. Or stop by the office at 400 North Main, Suite 202 in Rolla. Log on to the website at www.casascmo.org or email casa25th@gmail.com or call the office at 573-426-5437.