Court Appointed Special Advocates is a Smith County ministry that assists kids in need. CASA works with DCS to make sure that kids are taken care of and loved.

The Smith County chapter of CASA is just one of many in the United States. CASA aims to support and promote court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every abused or neglected child can be safe, have a permanent home, and have the opportunity to thrive.

Across the nation, there are nearly 950 CASA/GAL programs in 49 states that are recruiting, training, and supporting volunteers to represent the best interests of children who have been neglected or abused, in the courtroom and other settings.

More than 400,000 children are in foster care on any given day. Each year, more than 260,000 children have a CASA volunteer speaking up for their best interest. This work is made possible by around 85,000 CASA volunteers in the United States.

CASA volunteers are appointed by judges, and they stay with each case until it is closed and each child is placed in a safe, permanent home.

For many of the children involved, the CASA volunteer is the one constant adult present in their lives.

Here in Smith County, the CASA ministry is in need of more volunteers as they work to meet the needs of our local children in the foster care system.

A meeting will be held January 15, 2019, for those interested in volunteering with the organization.

The CASA office is located in Suite 103 inside the Turner Building at 122 Turner High Circle in Carthage.

SCI Reporter JR Smith had an opportunity to interview the director of the Smith County Chapter of CASA, Bernie Morris.