Thursday, March 13, 2014

I Became a Guardian Ad Litem Through CASA

Before maturity...maybe still there
I was first introduced to the program, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), I was a freshman in college and a brand new Theta.  If you are not familiar with the Greek system, sororities and fraternities have a specific philanthropy that they raise money for and in turn, it teaches young people the value of giving back to their respective communities.  When I was going through recruitment, that was one of my favorite things about Theta was that CASA is an important element of our sorority.  As I grew older and matured (hopefully) through college, I realized that I wanted to give back more.

This was an important developmental step for me because there was definitely at time that I realized that raising money through dance parties and sports events were no longer satisfying my need to give back.  In the simplest of terms, I wanted to do more to help influence a community.  I wanted to donate my time and resources to organizations.  Volunteering for CASA has always been a goal of mine.  With my job, I couldn't get around to volunteering and donating my time and it was frustrating. Finally there was a break and I was able to sign up for the training session here in Montana.  I went twice a week, learned the mission, goals, and met with professionals who work in child care protective services.  A CASA is a person who is a professionally trained volunteer who protects the rights of children.  When a child is taken from a home due to abuse or neglect, typically there are attorneys for the parents and an attorney that represents the state, but who looks out for the best interests of the child?  That's where a CASA comes in.  A CASA is assigned to a family so that guardian may have one or multiple children in a case.  Due to his or her training, he or she is allowed to represent the child by investigating the people involved in the case and visiting with child, the parents, and who is currently caring for the child.  As a CASA, you look into everything, including doctor's appointments, daycare updates, and how the child is doing developmentally.  It is a really important job and for the county that I volunteer with, they have had more than one new child a day enter the system for CASA.  It is incredibly sad but further reinforces the need for CASAs in your community.

After I finished my training, I was part of a mock trial and then I was sworn in.  Being a part of CASA is so amazing and I know that I'm helping children in this community that really need an adult on their side.  I am so thankful to Theta for introducing me to this phenomenal organization and I am thrilled that I am now a part of it :)

 It is a fairly easy process to start and you are directly influencing the future by helping support a child who needs your help.  You can visit CASA for Children to learn more information and if you have any questions on what it was like to go through the training process, feel free to send them my way!

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  1. That's awesome! My sister-in-law works as a paid guardian at litem. She has a degree in social work. My mother-in-law volunteers as one. It seems like a great program!

  2. Try green smoothies too. Just add a ton of spinach or kale to your smoothie. I make them with spinach, water, banana and any fruit I have on hand (more banana, pineapple, apple, pear, strawberry, etc)