We collaborate with each other, our community, volunteers, and stakeholders to effectively carry out our mission.
We pursue excellence in all our work to provide high quality advocacy for children who have experienced abuse and neglect. We evaluate our programming and strive for continuous improvement.
We believe every human has inherent value and dignity. We value and respect both our individual differences and collective similarities. We seek to uphold the Principles of Community in all our work.
We are committed to being honest, equitable, and respectful. We honor our commitments and are accountable to our stakeholders for our actions. We strive to maintain an environment for work and learning based on mutual respect and understanding.
We are team-focused and family-centered. We model the type of environment that supports a healthy-work life balance, placing an emphasis on strong, healthy families.
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 Association. HOM 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 over 1,200 children and trained 600 volunteers. Our active volunteers are serving over 400 children a year in both counties. In 2010, less than 300 children were in our local foster care system, and in 2021 that number was a staggering 722. Currently, Heart of Missouri CASA volunteers are serving 60% 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: Chris Horn – American Family Insurance
Board Vice Chair: Margrace Buckler – Retired, HR Director for City of Columbia
Board Treasurer: Hetty Harlan – Retired, Senior Vice President of Bank of America
Board Secretary: Ashley Halford – Missouri Department of Transportation
Andy Bonderer – Engineering and Construction
Caleb Brown – The 20
Katherine Christensen – Callaway Community Member
Susan Glass – Missouri Office of Prosecution Services
Melinda Grace-Beasley – Missouri Department of Transportation
Sharon Horbyk – Missouri School Boards’ Association
Liz Lass – Veterans United
Dave Llewellyn – Veterans United
Jason Sickmeier – Veterans United
Julie Wesley – House of Brokers Realty
Seth Woods – Columbia Public Schools