“The Only Source of Unconditional Love”
At 15, Sarah entered foster care feeling alone and unwilling to trust anyone, until she met her Court Appointed Special Advocate, Lisa. During the next five years, they built a trusting, supportive relationship that helped Sarah work towards college, land a job in a medical office, and reunite with her mother, father, and his wife. When asked about her success, Lisa explains that she affirmed Sarah and never judged her. “She was always there, no matter what,” Sarah reflects, “She was pretty much the only source of unconditional love I had ever known.”
“You’re My CASA; I Can Tell You Anything”
Linda volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for teenage twin sisters. As a CASA, she talks to the important adults in these girls’ lives: teachers, parents, therapists, judges, attorneys, and group home leaders. And, of course, she talks with the girls themselves. The more she listened to them, the more they trusted her. She recalls: “One of my most heartwarming moments was when one of my girls said, ‘You’re my CASA; I can tell you anything.’” Children need consistent adults who will listen to and support them. For foster children, CASAs often are these adults.
“A Chance for a Better Life!”
When Janice became a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) to Chris, a 15-year-old foster youth who was autistic and deaf, he had been labeled “un-teachable.” Janice quickly realized he couldn’t learn if he couldn’t hear and hadn’t received an American Sign Language (ASL) translator. Janice worked with him to improve his ASL vocabulary and claim his educational right to a translator. Chris can now communicate, enjoys the proper classroom setting, and for the first time, has made friends. Through Janice’s commitment and dedication, Chris finally has a chance for a better life!
**Names and photos have been changed to protect the identity of children and youth.