In Our Region

Every year, more than 650 abused and neglected children in Boone and Callaway counties pass through the 13th Circuit Juvenile Court System because they are unable to live safely at home. CASA volunteers watch over and advocate for these children who have experienced abuse and neglect to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal system or languish in an inappropriate group or foster home. They stay with each case until it is closed, and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence—the one adult who cares only for their best interest. 

Heart of Missouri CASA (HOM CASA) was founded in 2005 and is part of a national network known as the National CASA/GAL AssociationHOM CASA was established with the primary functions of recruiting, screening, training, and supervising volunteers to serve as non-attorney officers of the court who advocate for the best interests of children in foster care in the 13th Judicial Circuit.  

Since Heart of Missouri CASA’s founding, we have served nearly 1,000 children and trained over 470 volunteers. Our active volunteers are serving over 325 children a year in both counties. For the past 6 years, the number of children in foster care in our jurisdiction has steadily increased every year. In 2010, less than 300 children were in our local foster care system, and in 2019 that number was a staggering 643. Currently, Heart of Missouri CASA volunteers are serving 50% of the children in need in our circuit each day, and we are working tirelessly to reach more every year. Ultimately, it is our mission to provide a CASA volunteer to every child in need in our communities. 

Why CASA is Crucial

Board of Directors

Board Chair: Emily Little – University of Missouri, General Counsel

Board Vice Chair: Sharon Horbyk – Missouri School Boards’ Association

Board Treasurer: Elizabeth Blake  – Agents National Title Insurance Co.

Board Secretary: Jason Sickmeier – Veterans United

Members:

Andy Bonderer – PCE: Professional Contractors and Engineers, Inc.

Susan Glass – Missouri Office of Prosecution Services

Ashley Halford – Missouri Department of Transportation

Chris Horn – Shelter Insurance

Kayla Hutton – Mercy Health System

Allison McGough – Veterans United

Charles Parrish – Boone Supported Living

Erica Pefferman – Business Times Holdings (COMO Magazine and CMG)

Megan Steen – Burrell Behavioral Health

Staff

Kelly Hill

Kelly Hill

Executive Director
Sara Echternach

Sara Echternach

Boone County Program Director
Suzanne Guerrant

Suzanne Guerrant

Callaway County Program Director
Madison Spadarotto

Madison Spadarotto

Development Director
Leslie Rigdon

Leslie Rigdon

Boone County Advocate Supervisor
Chimene Schwach

Chimene Schwach

Boone County Advocate Supervisor
Laura Bragg

Laura Bragg

Boone County Advocate Supervisor
Jamie Faulconer

Jamie Faulconer

Callaway County Advocate Supervisor

Heart of Missouri CASA Strategic Plan 2020-2023

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