Bourbon County CASA program in need of more volunteers due to In - KOAM TV 7

Bourbon County CASA program in need of more volunteers due to Increase in child-involved court cases


Bourbon County CASA is a volunteer program that supports children during neglect, divorce or abuse cases.  The city of Fort Scott has decided to increase its annual contribution to the program, but more support is needed.


DebMcKenneyy tells her CASA kids she is an "ace in their pocket."

"And basically just that I'm their voice. That I tell the grownups in their world and the judge what their desires are and what they want to see happen with their life.McKenney'ss  role is two fold: She acts as a voice for her kids, and also as a translator, so they understand what's happening during their case.

"Of all these adults that are making decisions and they're not for sure what's going and they'll reach for your hand because they know they can count on you if they don't understand what's being said in the courtroom."

Program director Christa Horn says casa also provides consistency.  

"Because when a casa volunteer is assigned, they stay with that case and with that child until the case reaches permanency."

Horn says the number of cases filed in bourbon county has increased over the years, thus increasing the need for more volunteers and more overall assistance."

"In the past few years, compared to counties of like size, is quite high," says Horn. "Our county is quite high."

According to the economic development initiative Project 17, 63 percent of "children in need of care" calls in bourbon county were investigated in 2013. This percentage fell only below Crawford and Elk counties.

With the number of cases greater than the number of volunteers, casa is currently recruiting more advocates.  

MMcKenneysays to those interested, it is time worth spent.

"If you give an hour a week to your kids, the rewards of that is triple fold. Their eyes light when you enter the room."

CASA will begin its advocate training next week. Anything interested in becoming a volunteer can reach Christa Horn at 620-215-2769.

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