Meet Laurie, a volunteer advocate with CASA of Galveston County!
Learn about her CASA journey on this Motivation Monday.
Sometimes the universe softly whispers of the right thing to do and other times it hits you in the back of your head and says, “Hey, do this!” The idea of becoming a CASA came to me in this “back of the head” way.
Within 2 days, I went from not knowing what a CASA even was to looking to get more information about the training sessions.
First, a friend’s son had been trying to get custody of his son for a couple of years. We were celebrating that it had finally happened. He got full custody of his son and all because an advocate was assigned to his child alone. My friend explained how they kept hitting a wall in the court system and with CPS until the advocate was assigned to check on and speak for just this child. It made all the difference to this family.
The next day my son had the opportunity to choose a local charity to work for in the summer. CASA was one of the choices we explored. He chose Hope Village, and I chose CASA. The day after that I was sitting in the Galveston Library learning about how to become a CASA. That was summer 2017. I graduated a CASA in September and had a case assigned to me even before I was sworn in.
It has been a whirlwind almost a year with my family. I have learned a lot from everyone associated with my family. Knowledge is power. Listen a lot to your caseworker, your supervisor and all of the attorneys. Read everything associated with your family; not just your child, but the whole family. Learn as much as you can about your family and how they got where they are. Take advantage of learning opportunities that come to you through CASA as well.
My advice to new a CASA: “Poco a poco se va lejos.” Little by little one goes far.
While it’s great to have big dreams of being a family’s savior: of swooping in and making everything right. The reality for a CASA is, it’s the small kindnesses shown for your family that make the difference. Month after month showing the family that you care what happens to them not just by advocating for the child in the court room, but also being on their side at school, checking that doctors, dentists and therapists are doing their jobs for your child. Showing up, listening, smiling a lot, crying with them, hoping with them, praying for them, and caring what happens to them. That is what a CASA means to me.