SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — There are 1,100 foster kids in southwest Missouri and one local organization is expanding in order to meet the need.
CASA of Southwest Missouri will unveil its new headquarters and clubhouse with a ribbon cutting scheduled at 11 a.m.
Officials within the organization said these two new additions will not only attract more volunteers but more importantly give the children a safe and welcoming space.
“The CASA clubhouse is a new space, it is an activity space for children in foster care, there’s nothing like it in the state of Missouri,“ said Executive Director of Casa Laura Farmer.
In the last six years, CASA has tripled in size.
The organization started with just a couple of volunteers and now they have more than 300.
Currently, CASA serves over 500 foster children in Greene, Chrisitan and Taney counties, but there are still hundreds of foster children that need help.
Farmer said the new headquarters and clubhouse will allow more fosters kids to have an advocate by their side.
She says by 2030, they hope to serve 100% of the foster kids in southwest Missouri.
“We want to serve 100% of kids because we know when a child has a CASA advocate, they have more stability in foster care, they do better in school and ultimately they exit the foster care system more quickly,“ said Farmer.
Farmer said their previous office space was at max capacity and did not allow them to serve more children.
However, with these two new spaces, they’ll be able to house more staff to recruit and train more advocates.
“Instead of going to McDonald’s, they can have a homecooked meal. Our clubhouse will have a full kitchen and our older youth will learn how to do their laundry and learn those independent learning skills,” said Clubhouse Director Sara Walraven.