CASA Advocate Volunteers answer the question “What does being a CASA Advocate mean to you”?
I am honored to be a CASA Volunteer, because I am able to serve our children in a priceless capacity. Being able to make a difference in a child's life, no matter how big or small it is, means more to the child than you can imagine. When I walk into a visit, I walk in knowing that I have a job to do, a job that ensures the child's best interest is the center focus of his or her case. Limiting the “bullies” and “boogeymen” who try to silence their voice.
Being a CASA volunteer enables me to truly help, one child at a time. It's rewarding to help a family in need and help children have hope for a better life.
It has added meaning to my life, increased my self-esteem, and allowed me to use many of my natural talents, skills and training over my lifespan that don't necessarily come into play in my present paid part-time job. Now that I am in my sixties I don't have the energy or desire for full time responsibility. As a CASA advocate with one case at a time, I can spread out the workload according to my needs - and still do meaningful work. The significance of my work became quite apparent when my first case, which had been going on for eighteen months, had its last court hearing. The judge proclaimed, one by one, all the reasons why the permanent guardianship would be awarded to the family I had been visiting. One of those reasons was my recommendation as the CASA advocate on the case.
Being a CASA advocate means being the voice of the far too often unheard child. Being able to advocate to ensure their needs are met and to advocate that they are living in a safe environment.
Having been a homeless teenager and in and out of the foster care system I can attest first hand to the difficulties the children encounter. Being a CASA advocate I know that I am making a difference in the life a child(ren) that was never made for me and this brings me great joy.
I was grateful to be a part of an organization that helps support children in their most desperate time of need, having been taken from the home environment where they lived for all their lives. As the children and foster families begin to settle in together, it is helpful to have an unbiased person to listen and observe and note where better communication and additional resources are needed. I found that as CASA I could help misunderstandings between teacher and foster parents and help bring attention to issues that the foster families felt were not being resolved by the organizations for which they worked. These issues were usually around getting resources to better serve the children. The foster families were closest to the children and in my case advocated fiercely and tirelessly for them.
I am retired and have worked with children as a teacher and school administrator. CASA gives me an opportunity to stay connected to children in a meaningful positive way. I can see the fruits of my labor and I find the work very rewarding.
The job of a CASA volunteer is very important to me! Keeping the "best interest of the child" will be my top priority in my everyday dealings with everyone involved in the case. Listening, encouraging, keeping my promises, are only a few of the ways I can be a positive role model to a child who has never been able to count on anyone, trust anyone or look up to anyone. Accepting the position of a CASA means being committed to following a child through their entire case, always being available to collect and update all the facts in order to present the best recommendations for the child before the Court. Children deserve a constant, positive influence in their lives. I am very excited and look forward to being part of a great team involved in "the best interest of a child".
Being a CASA Advocate is giving me the opportunity to serve the community in a meaningful way that reflects my past career and experience.
Being a CASA volunteer means making sure that children involved with DCF get the best possible care.
I feel that the National CASA program is a unique, mindful, and collaborative opportunity to help young children and teenagers. It's an opportunity to help facilitate positive and healthy changes in the lives of abused, neglected, and abandoned youth. CASA volunteer's provide the tools for a youth's voice to be heard.
Being a CASA volunteer is meaningful because you can make a profound difference in someone's life.
Being a CASA Advocate gives purpose to my life knowing that I am the voice of a child that needs someone to speak up for them, to protect them and make their life a little less stressful.
A CASA means being an instrument to potentially change/alter the course of children's lives.
Being a CASA volunteer means a great deal to me. I'm learning something new everyday. I feel that I am an advocate, as well as a voice for children, who might feel like no one is listening to them.
Being a CASA allows me to give back to the community and try to make a child's life better.
Being a CASA volunteer allows me to help kids who need someone to help get them through their foster care stay(s) and feel like somebody is looking out for them.
Being a CASA has opened my eyes to the delicate balance of a family unit. I have worked with amazingly loving children and parents, parents who are trying their best given the circumstances, children who love their parents unconditionally. The reports I've labored over do, I believe, represent an unbiased, total and truth-filled snapshot of exactly what is happening within a family unit. I've witnessed the patience and kindness of judges who want only the best for "my" children, as difficult as those decisions might be. I've watched parents work to overcome their weaknesses and the stamina of family members to help them make this happen. It's been an eye-opening and remarkably (surprisingly) rewarding experience to see so many people come together for the sake of a single child.