I am delighted to introduce the first installment of a monthly column that aims to shed light on the vital work we do at CASA of South Central Missouri. My name is Amber Stienbarger, and I have the privilege of serving as the executive director of CASA, an organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of the most vulnerable members of our community – abused and neglected children.

CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. Our mission is to provide a voice for these children within the court system. We advocate for their best interests and work to ensure they find safe, loving and permanent homes. This is no small task, and it often requires the collaborative efforts of many dedicated individuals.

Our volunteers, who come from all walks of life, serve as the cornerstone of our organization. They undergo rigorous training and background checks to become Court Appointed Special Advocates. Once appointed, they meet with the child, their parents or caregivers, teachers, counselors and anyone else involved in the child’s life. This comprehensive approach helps us to gather all the necessary information to make informed recommendations to the court about the child’s placement and care.

CASA volunteers are not only advocates; they are also mentors, confidants and beacons of hope for the children they serve. Many of these children have experienced unimaginable trauma, and our volunteers provide them with stability, support and a sense of belonging in a world that can often seem chaotic.

Our commitment to these children goes beyond just one volunteer. Our organization works closely with the courts, Children’s Division, schools, and other community resources to ensure that the child’s needs are met every step of the way. We are their consistent allies, making sure that they do not slip through the cracks of the child welfare system.

In our monthly columns, we will share stories of hope, resilience and progress as we work to create brighter futures for these children. We will provide updates on our initiatives, partnerships and volunteer opportunities, as well as highlight the incredible work our CASA volunteers do within our community. They are changing a child’s story. 

We believe that every child deserves a safe and nurturing environment, and we are determined to make that belief a reality. CASA of South Central Missouri is more than an organization; it’s a beacon of hope for children in need. We invite you to join us on this journey and to support our mission as we continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of these remarkable children.

Thank you for your support, and we look forward to keeping our community informed about the critical work we do at CASA of South Central Missouri.

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