Heart of Missouri CASA

A Powerful Voice in a Child’s Life

COLUMBIA, MO   |  www.homcasa.org

Mission

Our mission is to train and support exceptional volunteers to be a voice for every abused and neglected child in the Boone and Callaway County Family Court.

Ruling year info

2005

Executive Director

Kelly Hill

Main address

105 E Ash St Suite 102

COLUMBIA, MO 65203 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-2408567

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Foster Care (P32)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The number of children removed from their parents because of abuse/neglect has increased every year since 2010 in our communities. In October 2019, the number of Missouri children in foster care reached a record high. In the 13th Judicial Circuit, 650+ children are involved in foster care each year. Compare this to 2008-2013 when the yearly average was 355, our ongoing crisis is apparent. After experiencing trauma at the hands of their guardians, children are placed into an overburdened child welfare system, although full of caring professionals, is not equipped to give every child the attention they need to heal and thrive. The high number of children needing the protection of our courts creates an ever-present strain on our system stakeholders. Caseworker turnover and high caseload sizes remain a serious issue for positive child outcomes. Frequent placement changes, turnover in case professionals, and constant uncertainty lead to further traumatization for the children.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

CASA Child Advocacy

Heart of Missouri CASA speaks up for children who’ve been abused or neglected by empowering our community to volunteer as advocates for them in the court system. When the state steps in to protect a child’s safety, a judge appoints a trained volunteer advocate to make independent and informed recommendations in the child’s best interest.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

CASA Child Advocacy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our mission is to train and support volunteers to be exceptional voices for every abused and neglected child in the Boone and Callaway County family courts. We aim to improve outcomes for children in our local foster care system. We work to ensure children remain free from re-abuse while in foster care, have all their needs met (educational, medical, therapeutic), and achieve a safe, permanent home as quickly as possible. Our CASA volunteers watch over and advocate for these children to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal system or languish in an inappropriate group or foster home. Because children in foster care change homes frequently and case worker turnover is rampant, the CASA volunteer is often the one consistent adult presence—the one adult who cares only for their best interests – throughout the child’s entire time in foster care.

CASA exists to ensure children involved in the family court due to abuse/neglect have an objective advocate focused solely on their best interests who will advocate for permanency and be a stable, constant adult, oftentimes the only constant, in the child's life until the case closes with the courts. We do this by recruiting, screening, training, and supporting volunteers who are appointed by the family court judge to act as the eyes and ears of the court. Potential volunteers complete an intensive screening process, including an interview, 3 reference checks, and a comprehensive background screening. Following completion of the 30-hour pre-service training, volunteers are sworn-in as officers of the court and are appointed to a case, which on average has 2 children. CASA volunteers promote the best interests of the children by learning all they can about the child and case, engaging with the child during regular visits, collaborating with others to ensure the necessary services are provided to the child and family, making recommendations regarding the child's placement and needed services, reporting what they've learned to the court, and monitoring the child's situation until the case closes. Volunteers have only one case at a time so they are able to become experts on that child/case, which puts them in a unique position to be that child's voice in court. To ensure volunteers provide excellent advocacy, CASA staff provide ongoing supervision and coaching to every advocate.

We employ 8 staff, 6 of whom are direct program staff focused on recruiting, screening, training, and supporting 170+ CASA volunteers each year. Each volunteer advocates for 2 children on average, giving 6-10 hours a month in advocacy. We are currently serving 50% of the children in need in our judicial circuit.

We operate under a Memorandum of Understanding that details our collaborative work with our Family Court partners. This includes the Family Court Judge, Children’s Division (CD), Juvenile Office (JO), and Guardians Ad Litem (GAL). The MOU outlines the types of cases CASA receive from the court, the roles/responsibilities of the CASA, implementation of volunteer activities, working relationships with the court, conflicts of interest, and termination of a CASA appointment. The CASA role is designed to be collaborative in nature, working as part of the Family Support Team (FST) which includes the parents, children (if age appropriate), CD, JO, GAL, Parent Attorney, and CASA volunteer. The CASA volunteer must be a cooperative partner, sharing information and concerns with the entire group, in order to effectively implement the responsibility of reporting directly to the Judge regarding the children’s wellbeing and best interests. As our MOU details, the CASA volunteer’s duties complement, but do not duplicate, the duties of other professionals on the case. CASA volunteers, in a sense, fulfill some of the GAL responsibilities at a more in-depth level.

We are funded through a variety of sources including the Boone County Children's Service Fund, Victims of Crime Act funding, United Way, our state and national associations, local foundations, and community/individual support. Our revenue has nearly doubled over the last 3 years as we have grown our capacity in order to serve more children in need.

Since opening in 2005, we have trained over 400 volunteers and advocated for nearly 1,000 children. Since 2016, our program has grown dramatically. In 2016, we were serving 22% of the children in need. As of January 2020, we are serving 50% of those in need. We have increased our active volunteer base from 73 in 2016 to over 160 in 2020. In 2019, we achieved the following outcomes:
- 100% of children with a CASA volunteer (294/294) remained free from re-abuse while in foster care.
- Children with a CASA volunteer whose cases closed with the courts (N=58) achieved permanency in an average of 20 months. The median length of time to permanency was 17 months.
- 95% (55/58) of children with a CASA whose cases closed with the court achieved a permanent outcome (reunification, adoption, guardianship)
- 95% (445/467) of volunteer recommendations to the court were accepted or ordered by the Family Court Judge.
- 97% (250/259) of hearings which required a written court report had a court report submitted.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Heart of Missouri CASA
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Heart of Missouri CASA

Board of directors
as of 1/11/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Emily Little

University of Missouri

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/11/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/11/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.