CASA of South Central Missouri was honored to gather with several community members on Wednesday at the Historic Court House building in Waynesville. Those in attendance were Mayor Luge Hardman of Waynesville,  CASA, the Pulaski County Community Network, Kids’ Harbor Too, the Juvenile Office, the Honorable Michael Headrick, juvenile judge, and the Pulaski County Circuit Clerk’s Office.

Mayor Hardman read a proclamation, declaring April a month for Child Abuse Prevention, calling community members from the City of Waynesville and greater Pulaski County to stand up and speak out for victims in our communities.

Once only read in the City of Rolla, the Proclamation has been shaped and molded to fit the needs and declarations of several communities in the 25th Judicial Circuit in Missouri. As a team that works with children in the court system, CASA has been privileged to work with some of the most caring and passionate individuals across all of the 25th Circuit.

The idea of family, community, and partnership runs deep in the roots of Pulaski County, and the Proclamation calls for “all citizens [to] become involved in supporting families in raising their children in a safe, nurturing environment.”

 The bottom line is that people need help—people need support. Some of the most vulnerable victims that need our help are the children right here in our own communities. Right now there are nearly 180 children in foster care in Pulaski County alone; the use of illegal substances has caused this number to skyrocket. Together we must stand against abuse and neglect, and against the factors that are causing our families to live amid opioid addiction, desperation, and hurt. 

CASA Volunteers, Juvenile Officers, Case Workers, and many more work tirelessly to provide hope to children and families in desparate need of community support. Together we can be #ONELIGHT for children and families. Please don’t wait to get involved. You can start now. CASA is always looking for volunteers to speak out for abused and neglected children. No special knowledge is required. CASA provides training for all of its volunteers and constant support.

We encourage you to be a part of the solution in Pulaski County. There are many great organizations in Pulaski County, but if you would like to join CASA, just visit our website at www.casascmo.org, email info@casascmo.org, or call 573-202-4378 or 573-202-8405.