In the summer of 2008, a CASA volunteer entered into a young girl’s life and both of their lives were changed forever. When the volunteer first met the child, she was a broken and helpless little girl who suffered severe emotional and sexual abuse in the hands of those who were supposed to love and protect her. Since that time, the CASA volunteer and child have developed a close bond and positive relationship. Thanks to this very special CASA volunteer, that broken and helpless little girl is now an independent and thriving young lady.
A CASA volunteer or Court Appointed Special Advocate is a volunteer who is a trained community member that is appointed by a judge to provide a voice in court proceedings for abused and neglected children. In this particular case, the volunteer played a major role in the outcome for this child. This little girl had no faith in herself or anyone around her. The volunteer slowly showed her that there are good people in this world who love her and would fight for her rights and her safety. Over the last few years, they worked together on setting goals, building healthy relationships, getting a good education and preparing for college. This young woman now has her own place to live, a stable job and attends college full time. She also maintains several healthy, positive relationships in her life with people who support her needs and dreams.
The children we advocate for in the CASA program benefit greatly because of this type of long-term positive relationship that creates lasting change. Both the volunteer and child in this case learned so much from the experience and now count one another as family.