As I’ve said before, I firmly believe changing the world starts by getting involved in your community. One of the biggest problems in MY community is extremely high rates of child abuse and neglect. And yes, I get that this subject is tough to talk about. But you know what’s tougher? Living it. Imagine being a child who is abused or neglected. So, let’s talk CASA!
I am a CASA Volunteer. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is an organization that trains and supports volunteers who are legally appointed to a case with the Department of Family & Protective Services. These kids are in “the system” and are legally entitled to have someone on their side who has the legal authority to look out of their best interest. That’s where CASA comes in!
My husband and I are a co-CASA team and have had two separate cases. Both involved drug use with both with the parents and the children testing positive for drugs. All of these children were elementary aged or younger. This is in no way an “easy” volunteer gig. We have monthly to-dos and contact to make, are required to submit official court reports, and must keep ongoing training to make sure we’re serving our kids the best we possibly can. But while it’s sometimes difficult, it’s absolutely one of the most rewarding things I've done.
I see so much resilience and light in these kiddos. They are more than just another case in the system, more than what has happened to them… and they know it. When you see a pretty broken system actually work and get to witness a family mend themselves and reunite for the better, it’s pretty incredible.
If you have what it takes to be a CASA, I strongly encourage you to do so. It’s an amazing experience and you can change a life.
How do you know if you have what it takes?
If you have a heart for children
If you have 5-10 hours a month
If you won't give up