Day #111: Give with Colonial CASA in Williamsburg, VA

presiding over the court

This afternoon, while Stephanie and the girls read books at the Williamsburg Library, I gave my time to the staff at Colonial CASA. They had asked ahead of time if I would help with social media so it made more sense for the girls to stay behind on this one.

Colonial CASA (court appointed special advocates) works to ensure the best interest of abused and neglected children during legal proceedings. CASA volunteers (advocates) are assigned a child involved in a court case.

Each advocate is responsible for immersing him/herself in the life of a child, by maintaining contact with all involved – parents, social workers, school officials, healthcare providers, and others who are knowledgable about the child’s history.

Juvenile Court Judges use reports from the advocates to help determine what is best for the child.

After learning about CASA, I helped clean up some old Facebook pages that a former employee had made and replaced them with a new and functioning page for the organization.

Have you ever been a court advocate?

Comments

  1. Yep. I am one right now. It has been over 2 years on the same case. It’s been a trial, no pun intended. Thank you for helping. Funding for CASA has been cut, and they are sorely in need of volunteers.

    • That is so cool you are doing that.

      2yrs seems like a long time. Yikes! Do you have just one case you advocate for? Colonial CASA said they typically assign two per volunteer, which could mean a handful of kids.

      • I only advocate for one case, by choice. I could take another, but I have chosen not to. I don’t know that this is what I want to continue doing, but I have committed to seeing this one through. After some of the stuff I have heard today…. it could be longer. When I was in training, I heard that cases are typically a year. After I took on my case, I learned… my case isn’t typical.

        • It does seem like a huge investment. Very cool that you are willing to stay committed. I am sure you are changing lives more than you will ever know.

  2. We very much appreciated the CASA assigned to our 2 kids before we adopted them! It was great that there was one constant person as they went through the stages of Children’s Services. What a tough job they have, but a great one!

    • Colonial CASA mentioned that not all areas have CASA advocates. In your experience, do you think not having the advocate would have been feasible?

  3. Thank you! I was a CASA for 3 years until the health of my 6yo required more of me and allowed less time for court/interviews/visits etc.

  4. Was that recent or in the past? How is your child now? What part of the country were you in when you were with CASA?

  5. My husband and I were house parents for a girls group home in Georgia before we had our first son. Only one or two of our girls had CASA workers that we knew of. We were an emergency shelter so some girls were in and out pretty quick while others stayed for a while. I so wish more of the girls had advocates! But it is a tough job, very similar to being a foster parent or house parent. It’s tough to find people will to give up so much time and energy for kids they don’t initially know. I just wish more people would realize that you get to know these kids, they are no longer statistics and they change your world. But maybe that’s what makes it so tough sometimes.

    • So true. Often times what makes the biggest impact takes the most investment.

      Part of the problem though is awareness. People don’t always know how they can be helpful and just how much of what they “can” do will make a difference.

  6. I have never been an advocate, but I knew some back when I worked in the newspaper business – it is a tough job.

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