September 24, 2019
Research shows that having a stable relationship with a supportive adult can help children do well even when they have faced significant hardships. For children like Cameron,* their CASA or GAL volunteer is the adult who fills that role.
Cameron is a transgender youth living in a group home, where for a long time he felt isolated and unsupported. His life changed for the better when Amelia, a CASA volunteer, was appointed to advocate on his behalf.
Leading up to meeting Amelia, Cameron had been visiting his grandmother frequently with the goal of leaving the group home to move in with her. But Cameron’s grandmother started experiencing health issues, and it was determined that she could not provide the care and support he would need.
Cameron became hopeless. He began struggling in school. He exhibited some risky behaviors and was eventually hospitalized for self-harm.
Cameron’s life was in a tailspin when Amelia met him. Realizing the difficulties Cameron was facing, Amelia became the constant, stable presence that had been missing in his life. She became a mentor, friend, and advocate for his needs, which were complex and delicate.
Amelia started by calling meetings with Cameron’s group home to address their policies around inclusiveness. She advocated for stability in his medical care, medication, and treatment. More than any of this, she became a sympathetic person Cameron could call when he had a bad day or needed support.
Amelia did this without hesitation. She was kind to Cameron, and built a strong relationship with him that was based on trust and respect. Although Cameron has many more challenges to overcome before he is fully independent, he now has Amelia with him, to help him navigate the things that are hard for him, and celebrate his many successes.