More than 7,000 kids are in foster care in Kansas. Some of those kids move from city to city, to different foster homes and schools several times.
CASA Shawnee County volunteers walk with the children through every change. Bob and Sherry Jaymes volunteer at CASA in Shawnee County. They see several kids each month.
“We go out and have a hamburger, or go to the park, or just get to know them and let them get to know us,” Sherry Jaymes said.
The children are siblings who have been placed in different foster homes. The Jaymes have been a constant in their lives for the last two and a half years.
“They often have changed case workers, they change foster parents, they change placements, and we’re still there,” Jaymes said.
A CASA volunteer is a court appointed special advocate. CASA supervisor Georgia DeVader said that means they meet with all the important people in the children’s lives, “including foster parents, the agency workers, schools, everyone and they’re going to gather the information and see where a child is needing assistance.”
A judge pairs volunteers with the kids. The volunteers report back to the court about what the child needs.
CASA executive director Shelley Ramos said helping these kids is making an investment in the future of Shawnee County.
“We are interested in insuring that each of these children has a happy life,” Ramos said. “And by having a happy life, they’ll turn around and invest in this community. These children are our future police officers, teachers, educators, social workers.”
She said CASA Shawnee County needs more volunteers like the Jaymes. You can find out how to become a volunteer by clicking here.