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April 15, 2011

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April 15, 2011

I reluctantly joined my husband after he volunteered for CASA (Court Appointed State Advocate), but I soon became enthusuastic. Many children are abused, taken from their parents, and often move from one foster home to the next until they become 18 years old.
Can you imagine trying to mature
and to trust appropriately if your life was like that?
The CASA volunteer works with the child until he/she is returned to the natural parent(s), or is permanently placed with foster or adoptive parents, OR until the child becomes 18 years old and is no longer under the care of Child Protective Services.
My heart was won over by our first appointment--a baby boy. His parents were still teenagers. Luckily, both had very supportive parents willing to house the teens while they worked very hard to mature and regain permanent custody of their baby. One of the grandmothers was appointed temporary custody, so the mother was
able to stay with her baby until the case was closed.
I was hooked! So will you, if you get involved as a volunteer or a donor.. Try it, you'll like it! Ann Haynes Tubbs






The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching children in the courtroom either returned to their natural parents or permanently adopted. I personally have gained much fullfillment from working with the children who have achieved a permanent home. I also enjoy the continuing education, which is required of all volunteers. It gives me a chance to also meet other volunteers and to learn from their ecperiences.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hope for more volunteers and more funding of the organization in order that more children could be served/

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

A "shadow" experience before assuming a case. This would allow inexperienced volunteers to learn fom more experienced volunteers.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Since I had a PhD in Communication Science and Human Development and taught in Rehabilitation Psycholgy setting, I came to CASA with some skills that I enjoyed using in a new way. The new skill that I am still learning is courtroom communication and the vauious legal stages of permanent placement.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I feel I am using my skills in a useful manner for an important need. This is a very fulling way to use my time during my retirement.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

April 14, 2011

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April 14, 2011

CASA is a national network which recruits, trains and supports volunteers who are appoimnted by judges to watch over and advocate to the court for individual abused or neglected children who come before the court. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have had the impression that the families with whom my wife and I have worked as CASA volunteers have been encouraged, through our involvement and relationship, to have faith that a just ending was likely, and have thus been more patient with and able to derive more benefit from the judicial process. I have also felt confident that the Family Court Judge and the involved attorneys have found our contributions truly valuable.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

It appears to me that CASA would serve better if it could serve a larger number of clients, and that the limiting factor is not volunteers but the financial ability to provide sufficient staff to train and support and guide the volunteers. The staff is excellent, new volunteers appear and are well trained and supported, but with more staff we could grow in ability to serve more of the public.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Rather detailed documetation of specific volunteer services is necessary and onerous. I suspect the process could be made more user-friendly.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I am a retired family physician, and have "seen a lot" over the years. Despite this background, this experience has been a growth experience. Not only have I had the sense that I have contributed something of value, but also I have developed a much greater appreciation of the state Department of Family and Protective Services and equally of the Family Court System and of the attorneys involved. I very much appreciate the people who donate money and effort to support this organization. My wife and I participate as a team. This is somewhat unusual in CASA, but we have found that it enables us to serve in ways we could not serve as individuals.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Proud to be of service, but also more aware of the reality that a great number of families are truly challenged in their abilities to care appropriately for their children.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

April 14, 2011

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April 14, 2011

It has been a year to date that I received my first case. It involved two children, one of which was later diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder. The children were removed owing to an issue of abandonment, the mother had left the children with an unreliable person while she indulged her habit.
When I first met the children, I feel in love with them. The youngest was very loving and as cute as they get. The older sibling was a bright, well spoken youngster who had been the primary caregiver to the younger child.
Although the younger one had difficulty in communicating, he was a 3 y/o with the cognitive skills of a 9 - 10 month old, and what he lacked in language, he made up for in laughter and love.
Both children were placed in a placement facility where the younger sibling received physical, speech and play therapy and a huge transition occurred, his vocabulary increased and he became more sociable and his tantrums decreased significantly.
The older child was confused as to why he was where he was and wanted to be reunited with his Mommy. The father was incarcerated.
After establishing a rapport with the children, I met with the Mother and began to assist her. She had found stable work and a place to live. She was remorseful over her past and wanted to be reunited with her children.
Although it was a long bumpy ride, filled with tears, frustration, joy and sorrow, the children were finally reunited with their parents this past week.
I am confident that with some help from agencies specializing in children with special needs, they will be fine.
I feel good about having played a role in bringing this to a happy ending!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have either been a party to or have listened to the other stories of volunteers of this organization and am proud to be a part of what CASA does for the children.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of anything that I would change, but feel that it should be a part of everyone's life to see what this organization does!

April 14, 2011

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April 14, 2011

One of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had was working as a court appointed special advocate. It was an opportunity to interact with a child who was going through some very difficult family situations and make sure that his best interests were always served, as his case was moved through Child Protective Services and the court system. As the eyes and ears of the judge I was able to relate to the court, the child's progress or lack of it. The judge usually sided with my observations. I believe I was able to really make a difference in the life of my child.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen the importance of a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). As a child moves through the Child Protective Services, case workers have tremendous case loads. They are unable to give personal attention to each child. Since the CASA advocates for the individual child, he or she does not get lost or caught up in the system. CASA makes a real difference in each child served.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

This organization is well run. The training and continuing education opportunities are are many and varied. The staff is always available to support the CASA volunteer.

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