Sunflower CASA in Manhattan continues to help children in several ways.
Carson Kober, executive director tells KMAN that this past year was successful for Sunflower CASA. She says they helped more children in 2021 than in any year ever before. Part of that is due to the extended services of Sunflower CASA, that actually extend into two other agencies, the first being Stepping Stones CAC.
“We do forensic interviews there of children who have been sexually abused,” Kober says. “So, that’s not something we like to just put out in the newspaper, hey look at our agency, but that is something that we do, very important for our community because unlike people might like to think, it does happen here.”
Kober shares more about their third agency, the Sunflower Bridge Child Exchange and Visitation Center, or CEVC.
“That’s where we help families who have been court-mandated to have observed visits with their children, They come to our facility and in that safe environment with a security guard and an observer and they get to be with their families there.”
Kober says each agency works together to advocate for abused and neglected children. She adds that in order to make all agencies more efficient and more well-known, they are renaming to Sunflower Children’s Collective.
“We still do the same exact thing, but now at least when I say to somebody, ‘I work for Sunflower Children’s Collective.’ they will not just say ‘Oh, I know CASA!” They will say, ‘What is that?’ and then I will have the opportunity to explain that it’s three agencies.”
Kober adds that under Sunflower Children’s Collective they may be able to do even more too.
“Not just be the stop gap for children who have been neglected and abused, but maybe be an educational source for families,” she adds.
Kober says all the work of Sunflower CASA and now Sunflower Children’s Collective would not be possible without the help of volunteers. She says there are several opportunities to get involved, including becoming a CASA, becoming an observer, or becoming part of the committee.
“Literally, it’s kind of sky is the limit if you are interested in helping kids and you have a skillset that you’d like to use. Just call us or let us know!”
To learn more or to become a volunteer, visit sunflowercasa.org or call 785-537-6367.