JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The National CASA Association was recently awarded a grant for $39,500 to the 2nd Judicial District in Northeast Arkansas.
The grant will support one full-time staff person to manage 30 new volunteers who were recruited last year. In the five counties served by CASA of Northeast Arkansas, more than 600 children were in the foster care system last year and were removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect.
"As my kids got older, I prayed about it a lot but one thing I kept coming back to was to help somebody else," said Joni McNabb, who started off as a volunteer and now works as an advocate coordinator for Craighead and Poinsett Counties.
CASA trains community volunteers to advocate for these children in the courtroom and become the eyes and ears for the judge. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate.
"We can have a tremendous impact," said McNabb.
After having eight kids, McNabb did not expect to "mom" even more kids. She realized there are some things you can't control but that didn't stop her from trying.
"What you get back from it is immeasurable," McNabb said.