Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children of South Central Missouri volunteers in Phelps and Texas counties served more than 140 children last year, but more than 100 children did not have a CASA advocate. CASA volunteers, from left: Jim Barks, Ron Fannin, Ken Kwantes and Bob McClain have been giving back to the children in foster care through the CASA program. More volunteers, especially men, are needed. To learn more about making a difference in a child’s life, CASA is hosting an informational meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, in Houston. (contributed)

Lending a hand to a child in crisis while providing a powerful, caring source of stability, is what a volunteer with the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children of South Central Missouri program provides.

“This is the one place that you know as an individual, you really do make a difference,” said one CASA volunteer. “My CASA child had never had an adult take the time to listen to them or care about their interests. It is so gratifying to know that something so simple as reading with them or coloring with them has such a positive impact on their life.”

Judges appoint CASA volunteers to represent the best interest of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.

CASA volunteers are everyday citizens who have undergone screening and training provided by the CASA program.

There are 175 children in foster care in the county and only45CASA volunteers, leaving more than 100children on the waiting list for a CASA in their corner.

The actual volunteer hours required by the program are approximately eight to 10 hours a month.

CASA will host an informational event at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, at the Texas County Justice Center’s multi-purpose room, 519 N. Grand Ave., Houston. A light supper will be served.

For more information, contact Leigh Ann Sigman, volunteer coordinator, at 573-578-8120 or call the CASA office at 573-426-5437 (KIDS), email to or log on to The CASA office is at 1701 N. Bishop, Suite 1, in Rolla.



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