COVID-19 Response: Every Child Deserves Their Voice to be Heard

Kandice RileyCOVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Community Response: Every Child Deserves Their Voice to be Heard

United Way of the Ozarks’ partner nonprofits have worked diligently to overcome the challenges that come with facing the COVID-19 pandemic. This unprecedented time is especially hard on those who are the most vulnerable. CASA of Southwest Missouri strives “to recruit, train and support community volunteers who assist the court in protecting the best interests of abused and neglected children in Southwest Missouri.” With the help of the Coronavirus Response Fund, CASA of Southwest Missouri swore in 19 new advocates in May to ensure that children do not fall through the cracks of the foster care system.

There are over 750 children in foster care, and with the support of United Way of the Ozarks, CASA is serving 35 new children.

CASA commits to the statement: “Every child deserves their voice to be heard!” Child abuse and neglect has not stopped during the pandemic. CASA used the help from the Coronavirus Response Fund Allocation to continue their work in supporting children in foster care. 

CASA of Southwest Missouri transitioning online due to Coronavirus

Each year in April, our community observes Child Abuse Prevention Month. In April of 2020, CASA had to cancel or postpone all the fundraisers and awareness events scheduled for safety concerns. However, they were determined to not let the pandemic slow any progress on protecting children in our community.

For many of United Ways’ partner nonprofits, the COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges with access to internet availability and virtual programming. CASA of Southwest Missouri expressed concerns related to providing the technology needed to shift all volunteer training to virtual delivery. By utilizing Zoom, one volunteer hosted a “Princess Party” for the child served. This creative event involved decorating crowns and eating cupcakes. 

During these times of instability, CASA has ensured that the children they serve know they are important and supported. 

Laura Farmer, the Executive Director of CASA, stated, “CASA of Southwest Missouri has continued finding creative ways to connect with children during this time with the help of the Coronavirus Response Fund at United Way of the Ozarks. Listening to children talk about their experiences is one way that our CASAs make a difference and change a child’s story. Every child deserves a caring, consistent adult in their life”.

CASA of Southwest Missouri continues to advocate for the stability of children in our community.


Stay tuned to our blog as we publish a “good news” story each week detailing the ways our community has risen to the pandemic’s challenge to LIVE UNITED. You can also sign up to receive our monthly newsletter to stay connected to the work United Way of the Ozarks is doing to make a difference in our community.