About Us

What is a CASA

A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)
volunteer is a trained citizen who is appointed by a judge to represent the best
interests of a child in court. In the 5th Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri
(Buchanan and Andrew counties) these children are victims of abuse and/or

What is the role of a CASA

A CASA volunteer provides a judge with
carefully researched background details about the child to help the court make a
sound decision about that child's future. Each home placement case is as unique
as the child involved. The CASA volunteer must determine if the best interest of
the child is staying with their parents or guardians, being placed in foster
care, or being freed for permanent adoption. The CASA volunteer makes a
recommendation on placement to the judge and follows through on the case until
it is permanently resolved.

Is there a "typical" CASA

CASA volunteers come from all walks of life and
possess a variety of professional, educational and ethnic backgrounds. There are
more than 77,000 CASA volunteers nationally. Locally, we currently have 31
volunteers who serve children in both Andrew and Buchanan counties.

How do CASA volunteers investigate a

To prepare a recommendation, the CASA volunteer
talks with the child, parents, family members, social workers, school officials,
health providers and others who are knowledgeable about the child's history.

The CASA volunteer also reviews all records
pertaining to the child-school, medical, case worker reports and other

How much time is required to volunteer?

Each case is different. A CASA volunteer can
spead several hours doing research and conducting interviews prior to the first
court appearance. More complicated cases take longer. Once initiated into the
system, volunteers work on average 8 hours per month on a case depending on the

How long does a CASA volunteer remain

The volunteer continues until the case is
permanently resolved. One of the primary benefits of the CASA program is that,
unlike other court principals who often rotate cases, the CASA volunteer is a
consistent figure in the proceedings and provides continuity for a child.



Board of Directors

Become a Member



CASA Staff

CASA Director

Melisa Talbott

E-mail: Melisa.Talbott@courts.mo.gov

Phone: 816-901-1708

Want to Become a Volunteer?

Please call us at: (816) 901-1708 or fill out our contact form.


5th Circuit CASA of Missouri

411 Jules, BO3

Saint Joseph, MO 64501



application information sheet.doc
Microsoft Word document [70.0 KB]
Microsoft Word document [42.0 KB]
application letter.doc
Microsoft Word document [52.5 KB]

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