1. How did you hear about/get interested in CASA?
I first became aware of CASA as a United Way volunteer serving on its allocation committee. Upon retirement I was researching non profit, human service agencies where I might volunteer some of my time. I came across an article in the local newspaper about CASA’s 2nd graduating class. The nature of the work seemed attractive to me. I have by my own adolescence experienced some family dysfunction. I thought that if I could be of some support to a child in a stressed family situation, it would be a rewarding experience.
2. What do you like about CASA?
I think CASA has done a very good job of acquitting volunteers to their roles. Many organizations lack a structured orientation. In particular, I find the legal process associated with the foster care system to be very interesting. Observing and participating in the court system that oversees disadvantaged youths is very interesting.
3. What sort of impact do you feel you have made by being a CASA volunteer and/or what sort of impact has being a CASA volunteer made on you?
I am not sure that I have been involved long enough with my case to have made a notable impact. I am fortunate in that my case involves a foster child that seems to be thriving and maturing well. He faces several medical and intellectual challenges. Nonetheless, he is in the custody of a very caring foster family and social worker. He is a loving young man who values family relationships. Unfortunately for him, there are no family members who can manage his varied medical, emotional and intellectual disabilities, thus he remains in the custody of the social welfare system. I am hopeful that I can serve as another supportive force in in the process of developing a permanency plan for the client and one that provides for an effective transition to adulthood. Assisting in this manner has its own intrinsic rewards. First, I enjoy the social interactions I have with the foster child and his support system. Secondly, if my involvement contributes to making the child’s pathway to adulthood better in some small than it would otherwise have been, I will consider the time invested to have been very worthwhile and rewarding.
4. What would you tell others who are thinking about becoming a CASA volunteer?
It appears to me that CASA does an effective job in assessing the alignment of volunteers’ interests and competencies with the agency’s mission. I would say that anyone considering becoming a CASA volunteer spend some time talking to other experienced volunteers. Invest time in assessing what the commitment involves and whether one has a personal comfort level with those requirements.