Jackson County CASA Continues to Grow
Child abuse and neglect continue to increase in Jackson County, and the number of children in care continues to rise. Jackson County CASA is stretching to help as many children as we can. We accepted 19 new children onto our caseload in September, bringing us to 863 children served so far in 2012. We have now taken 266 new children this year. This compares to 195 new children at the same time last year. This grown is made possible by the generous funders who support our staff and by the heroic volunteers who speak for our children. We trained seven new volunteers in September which brings us to 82 for the year. Thank you to everyone who helps make it possible for us to serve more children every year!
New Emergency Assistance Fund
Jackson County CASA is partnering with Jewish Family Services to provide emergency assistance to financially strapped families taking in abused and neglected children, until their foster care subsidies are approved. We have noticed an increased number of friends and relatives who take in CASA kids are struggling to make ends meet and the added financial burden is more than they can handle. Sometimes these families already are barely staying above water so — when they agree to take in two, three, four or even five more children — they need financial help with the basics like utilities, rent, food and clothing until the state of Missouri approves them for foster care subsidies. This can take several months.
The new partnership already has made a difference in the life of a local family. A teen girl, born with profound mental and physical disabilities, was brought under family court jurisdiction for neglect when her mother was unable to provide care. Her father agreed to care for her but he lives in an apartment reached only by stairs. He was having difficulty carrying her down the stairs to her wheelchair. CASA volunteer Lindsay Mathews asked if CASA could find a way to help so the father could retain custody. Through the partnership, JFS provided $2,500 for materials to build a wheelchair ramp and HopeBUILDERS volunteered to donate the labor to build it.Thanks to the partnership, the daughter was able to remain with her father, and the case has now been released from Court Jurisdiction. To donate to the Emergency Assistance Fund, click here.
7th Annual Carnival for CASA Makes Kids Happy
Our 7th Annual Carnival for CASA at Paradise Park in Lee’s Summit was a tremendous success.
We had our largest crowd yet, with over 600 people attending, including 145 CASA children accompanied by foster parents, parents, and guardians. The event raised over $53,000 to support CASA’s work, the most yet for this wonderful event. Special thanks to our Carnival Committee Co-Chairs Jessica Earnshaw and Lara Klover and Carnival Host Committee Co-Chairs Bonnie Limbird, Christine Murray, and Deb Bass. Many thanks to our generous sponsors:
Anonymous in honor of CASA kids
Martha Gershun & Don Goldman
Jon & Julie Ellis
Jeremy & Stephanie LaFaver
SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza
Kathy & Gary Bussing
Shamberg, Johnson and Bergman
Sara & Kevin Smith