CASA of Southwest Missouri and SRC Holdings Corp. are partnering to host an even to recruit CASA volunteers, which are specially trained advocates for children in foster care. (Photo: CASA)

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Southwest Missouri is partnering with SRC Holdings Corporation to host an informational event to recruit CASA volunteers — not just from SRC staff, but from the entire community.

CASA of Southwest Missouri is a non-profit organization whose mission is to recruit, train and support community volunteers who assist the court in protecting the best interests of children in the foster care system.

If you want to attend

The event will be 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at SRC, 2401 E. Sunshine St., and is open to the public. Interested people can attend the formal presentation to learn what it’s like to be a CASA volunteer or they can grab some informational materials and go.

According to Rebecca Weber, CASA’s program director, the event will be the first time the nonprofit has partnered with a major employer like SRC to recruit volunteers.

“We talked with SRC’s (human resources) staff about the benefits of employee volunteering and how it increases overall job satisfaction,” Weber said. “They’ve been playing informational videos every week for the past month. They are really encouraging all their employees to get involved with a nonprofit.”

CASA of Southwest Missouri is currently serving around half of the some 800 kids in foster care in Greene County, but there’s still another 120 on the nonprofit’s waitlist right now, Weber said.

CASA training can be in person or virtual

CASA volunteers spend an average of about 5 to 10 hours per month with their youth or sibling group, either visiting with them or advocating for them in court.

Volunteers do an initial 30 hours of training (in-person or virtual) before being sworn in by a judge. Weber said if someone is interested, CASA will find a training schedule that fits their life.

“And the great thing about being a CASA volunteer is that it’s very flexible,” she said. “Depending on what your workday looks like, you could do your volunteering on your lunch break or the weekends.”

SRC is providing refreshments at the event. CASA staff and volunteers will be on hand to speak about their experiences.

“For CASA of Southwest Missouri to reach our vision of serving every child in foster care, we must continue our community awareness efforts to recruit more volunteers and provide them
with training and support, thereafter,” a news release said. “This innovative partnership with SRC shows their dedication to helping change a child’s story.”

Rebecca Weber is program director for CASA of Southwest Missouri. (Photo: CASA)

And if you are unable to attend the event but would like to learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer, call 417-864-6202 or visit casaswmo.org.

Jackie Rehwald

Jackie Rehwald is a reporter at the Springfield Daily Citizen. She covers housing, homelessness, domestic violence and early childhood, among other public affairs issues. Her office line is 417-837-3659. More by Jackie Rehwald