‘Now more than ever:’ over 120 foster kids in the Ozarks need a CASA

KOLR10 Daybreak

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – How would you like to spend the rest of 2021? One nonprofit in Springfield says you should use this time to help a child in need.

Rebecca Weber, program director at CASA of Southwest Missouri, says her team needs volunteers to help more than 100 kids in foster care.

“We need the community to respond now more than ever,” Weber said. 

“Our kids need CASA’s now more than ever. What we know is that the number one indicator of a child being resilient and successful and recovering from trauma is at least one trusted adult relationship in their life. That’s something that our CASA volunteers provide. The amount of time you spend on TikTok or Netflix, you can advocate for a child in foster care. You could be the difference between their success and them struggling.”

Weber says Southwest Missouri is going through a foster care crisis. Over the last two months, almost 90 kids have entered foster care in the Ozarks.

“A lot of people in our community just don’t understand the current crisis that we’re in,” Weber said. “We have children sleeping in offices because there are not enough foster homes. That’s really why we are doing a call to action on the community to get more folks involved and understand the need that exists.”

Weber says meeting this need can help the community in many ways.

“When we’re looking at a community as a whole and we see things like high crime rates and poverty issues, addiction problems across the board, that starts with foster care,” Weber said. “That starts with recognizing that we have to start here and improve our community in this capacity first before we see that generational change.”

CASA of SWMO has two more training sessions left this year to become a CASA. One course is being offered in-person during the day at CASA’s headquarters on National Avenue. The other course is being offered online in the evening.

Once someone finishes training they would be sworn in by a local judge and be assigned a child to help in the area.

Daytime trainings are on December 1 and 8, most likely from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Evening sessions are five trainings in a row on Tuesday nights, starting on November 16.

Click here if you are interested in applying.

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