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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Mitchell named new CASA director

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  • There is a new director of New-Mac CASA and his name is Mike Mitchell.
    Recently, The Neosho Daily News caught up with Mitchell and asked him some questions about his new role.
    NDN: Tell us about CASA.
    Mitchell: CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a non-profit organization that advocates for children removed from the home due to alleged abuse or neglect. The court assigns individual cases to one of our unpaid volunteers, who work with state agencies and the court officials until that child is permanently placed in a safe home environment. New-Mac CASA covers both Newton and McDonald counties and has been in operation since 2010. The volunteer attempts to provide the court with the child's personal wishes, desires and needs. National CASA often refers to CASA as a 'voice' of the child in legal proceedings. CASA volunteers are assigned only one case at a time and will follow that case until a positive resolution is achieved for the child.
    NDN: How did you get involved with CASA?
    Mitchell: The director of CASA presented an informational program to the Neosho Rotary Club and after that meeting, I volunteered to become a CASA volunteer about three years ago. I served as the volunteer coordinator for a while before accepting the director position recently.
    NDN: As director of CASA, what are your goals for your term?
    Mitchell: I obviously want motivated, qualified volunteers to make sure children are treated as well as possible during a very trying time for them. Additionally, as the director, I hope to increase the number of volunteers available for assignments and ensure adequate funding is secured for future operations.
    NDN: How many children do you have in CASA and what are the age requirements?
    Mitchell: We currently serve 25 children. The court will decide which cases are assigned to us, but any child considered a minor by the court is eligible for assignment.
    NDN: Do you have events such as a Christmas party for the children or election of officers? Where are your meetings?
    Mitchell: Our board officers serve 3-year tours on the board. New members are elected as terms time out. Due to the sensitive nature of the operation, we do not have open meetings. We do not currently have a party for the children. If someone cannot volunteer, but wants to be a part of this cause, serving on the board of directors is another avenue of service available.
    NDN: Where would you like to see CASA in the next five years?
    Mitchell: I would like to see New-Mac CASA increase our presence in McDonald County and would like to see us double our number of volunteers.
    Page 2 of 2 - NDN: Are you seeking volunteers to help out?
    Mitchell: I am always looking for passionate, motivated volunteers. The more we have, the more good we can do.
    NDN: If someone wants to volunteer or help out, who do they need to contact?
    Mitchell: Interested volunteers should contact me at 312-5515 or at email newmaccasa@outlook.com. Our website is available at www.newmaccasa.org.

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