JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. — Nearly 2,800 children in Jackson County are in foster care, and according to Jackson County Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, that number is growing.
At the Jackson County CASA, there have already been 32 new cases involving 75 children appointed by the court in July.
The organization works with children who have been abused or neglected and removed from the home into foster care.
CASA leaders said Jackson County has the highest number of children in the foster care system in the state. Jackson County CASA serves roughly 1,250 of the 2,800 children.
With more cases to handle, Jackson County CASA President Angie Blumel is hoping volunteers can come and help be an advocate for the child.
"Our volunteers literally have the opportunity to change the course of a child's life," Blumel said. "By advocating for an abused or neglected child, we know that our volunteers will help them in a safe, permanent home and receive the services they need while in the foster care system."
CASA leaders said for the past six years, with CASA volunteers involved in their lives, children are less likely to be abused and find a safe and permanent home. Also, 95 percent of the children do not re-enter into the Jackson, Johnson or Wyandotte County courts.
"They are the eyes and the ears, and not only that, they're the support for these kids," Blumel said. "Volunteers will visit the child at least monthly and get to know them and hear what do they want and our mission is to serve as that child's voice in court."
Volunteers do not need special skills or education, just a heart for helping children, a background check and training.
Volunteers spend about 10 hours a month with the child and those involved with his or her case.
Jackson County CASA is holding two training sessions in August. To find out more information, click here.