October 18, 2019
It was Sunday evening when a CASA volunteer in Spencer County, Indiana got a call from a foster parent. The foster mom explained that the children in her care were upset as a result of a difficult day. The foster parent asked the volunteer to come over to help calm the kids down.
The volunteer had other plans for the night, but instead she put on her shoes, got in her car and was on her way. She spent some time with the children, talking with them about their day. The CASA volunteer spoke with the foster mom, too. By the time she left, the kids were calm and things at the house were back to normal.
The next day, the children’s case worker heard that the CASA volunteer had visited the children to help them work through an emotional time. His response was, “I didn’t know CASA (volunteers) would do that!”
CASA/GAL volunteers are absolutely and primarily advocates for children’s best interests in court, but to do that they must be there between hearings, too. They listen to the children and observe them and their surroundings. They talk with the people in the children’s lives. They even advocate for children in other venues—related to education, health, and more.
In becoming effective advocates, CASA/GAL volunteers become more: they become a vital part of facilitating support for children – in and outside of court.