How I got started
I learned about CASA early in my career when I was working with a lot of foster families, and a lot of the youth had a CASA advocate assigned to them. It’s an incredible role for the advocates to fill because they literally carry that child’s voice into court, and it’s powerful to be able to do that.
Many years into my career, a colleague of mine asked me if I could come and do a training session with her at CASA, so I did. I went with her and did the training and they never let me leave! I’ve been there ever since.
What I Do for CASA
My class is about trauma, the experience of trauma, and the needs of our children. A lot of volunteers are not prepared to step into a room and connect with a child who has a history of trauma and who maybe doesn’t feel emotionally safe. They need tools and knowledge to do that. What I try to do is give them a little bit of that knowledge, some of those tools, to empower them and help them realize that just that power of them showing up and connecting with that child can really change the trajectory for that kiddo.
A lot of times we’ll see social workers who move in and out of a child’s life. They might promote into a different position, and children often have more than just one foster family. There’s just a lot of change that happens to these very vulnerable kids. The CASA volunteer advocate can be a really powerful, steady and healing connection for that child.