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      What is the purpose behind CASA?

      For our Friday Facebook Story of The Week, many of you wanted to know more about CASA.

      CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates.

      It is an independent, objective group of volunteers who are child advocates and act as another set of eyes and ears for the court system for a child who has been taken out of their homes and placed in foster care.

      The Adair County CASA has been in place since 2005. The group's main focus is to be the voice of the children.

      "What our role is to help bring permanency to the children sooner. The team members all work together to try to get that child reunited with their parents if it's the best for the child. If it's not a safe option, then we look towards guardianship or adoption," said Adair County CASA Excutive Director Sandy Slocum.

      Slocum says she owes all the success of CASA over the past seven years to the hard working volunteers who help to make sure these kids are in a safe environment. "It's more about getting to know the children and seeing their placement, and how they interact with their families and get to know the families a little and then advocating for them and sharing your opinion with the rest of the team and be part of the whole process, "Adair County CASA Excutive Volunteer Samantha Sweet.

      In the Adair County CASA, there are 32 volunteers working in the organization who work with about 49 kids.

      For everyone who is involved with the organization, it's a lot of hard work to determine a child's best interest, but it's all worth it in the end.

      "It's very rewarding. Especially to see the kids be able to go back home to their parents or get adopted or have a guardian," Slocum said.

      "The best part is when the kids are able to go home. Go back to their original families or to a different family that is going to provide a permanent home for them," Sweet said.

      There are CASA programs across the nation including both Missouri and Iowa.

      If you want to learn more about or are interested in becoming a volunteer, click here.