CASA Volunteers Make a Difference
With about one thousand children currently in Greene County's foster system, the local courts stay busy trying to find a permanent home for these kids.
Court-appointed special advocates work with children who have been removed from their home because of abuse or neglect.
Volunteers gather information about a child and family which a judge uses to make a decision about the child's future.
KSMU's Christy Hendricks tells us about the role CASA volunteers play in hundreds of children's lives across the county.
When Mary Ann Greene visits the children from her CASA case, she always reads them a book.
Greene reads her book as the three children pile on the couch, one sitting on her lap.
For children in Greene County's foster system, a CASA worker may be the only stable part of their lives.
Cases can take years to resolve and often involve multiple social workers and foster parents.
Greene says having a CASA worker there for the children through the process can help provide stability.
These three children have lived with foster parents, Stella Faucet and her husband, John, for two years.
Faucet says Greene is someone the kids can talk to and she boosts their self-esteem.
Faucet says the children now behave and have calmed down since they first came to live with them.
Presiding Greene County Judge Don Burrell works with many of the foster care cases.
He says CASA volunteers provide consistency and can get to know the children better than attorneys who serve as the guardian ad litem.
CASA volunteer Mary Ann Greene says the children have changed significantly since she first met them two years ago.
The oldest child, we'll call him William, has his reasons for why he likes Mary Ann Greene.
So until a permanent home is found for William and his two siblings, Mary Ann Greene says she will continue to visit them and read them books.