Every day in this country, four children will die at the hands of their abusers.  Every single day, 1,900 children are victims of abuse.  The child protection system is massively overloaded.  Kids slip through the cracks.  Sometimes the price they pay is their very lives.

So what can we do to step up and help these abused and neglected kids?  Maybe you're not at that point in your life that you feel you can provide a loving foster home.  Another alternative is to volunteer as a Court Appointed Special Advocate.

The daily stories of abuse, neglect and death of children prompted me to become a CASA volunteer.  I got my first case in January after several weeks of training.  I work with a 2 1/2 year-old boy who was living in pretty horrific circumstances until he was placed in a foster home.  It's my job to advocate for the best interest of my little guy.  I visit with him and then offer the information the judge needs to determine the best possible outcome for placement.  I'll continue to advocate for this child until he is placed in a loving, permanent home.

In my area, CASA serves the 10th Judicial Circuit in Marion, Monroe and Ralls Counties in Missouri.  In that district, 200 kids are in foster care.  We have enough volunteers to advocate for just 60 kids.  Even though that's not nearly enough, it's a big success story over 2018 where only 37 children had a CASA representative assigned to their cases.

In a small way, we can still help the children in the system without a CASA volunteer.  Our CASA Care Closet aids foster families by providing wipes, diapers, clothing, blankets, shoes, books, toys and car seats.

If you'd like to donate to the CASA Care Closet, check out this link http://nemocasa.org/ to the sponsoring agency, Douglass Community Services in Hannibal.  To learn more about a CASA program in your area, go to the www.casaforchildren.org/‎ national website.  There are children out there who need a person like you in their corner.

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