The Court Appointed Special Advocate or CASA volunteer program has been a part of Adair County for years. The volunteers are appointed by the court and advocate for the well-being of foster children.
Fran Norman, a retired Speech Pathologist, has been a volunteer for the program since it began. She said she has helped about a dozen children over the years, visiting them in their foster homes, meeting their biological parents, and doing what she can to help the children be able to return to a stable, loving, and safe environment. Although it can be time consuming and challenging, Norman said it's definitely worthwhile.
"The rewards are getting to see these children being placed, and know they're going to be in a good family situation, and also are going to be productive citizens. That's the one thing I want to see, them grow up to be productive citizens and not troubled."
Norman said the children have court dates every two to three months, where she submits a report detailing her observations. She said sometimes she works with children for six months and sometimes it takes years before they are placed.
CASA volunteers must attend a 30-hour training course. There are currently 32 volunteers in the program, who work with 49 foster children.
Here's a link to our previous story.