Alma’s Volunteer Corner: Roadtrip!

Sept24I spent most of this week coordinating a visit with my CASA kid face-to-face. Let me share one of the details that makes CASA of Lane County unique: not all CASA programs are alike. Our overarching mission is to provide a voice for children in foster care, but from county to county, there are different rules and specifications for CASA volunteers.

For example, I recently learned that there is a CASA program in California where, in addition to being a voice in court, they also mentor the children and play a role that is similar to that of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.

In Lane County, our job is to be a voice for the children. We are required to visit them at least once a month, advocate for them in court, interview people who impact their lives and look out for their best interests. We do not mentor. We do not take the kids on trips. As a matter of fact, one of the restrictions when we visit our CASA kids is that we are not allowed to be alone with the child.

So here comes the tricky part for my kid.

Recently she was moved into an alternative foster facility that is out of town. Unfortunately, because this facility has staff members with specified assignments, it has been difficult for me to coordinate a staff person from that residence to be present while I visit.

But I am lucky because I have an amazing Peer Coordinator, Helen. Helen serves as my coach and support throughout my case. She has agreed to join me for this visit. I checked in with my CASA kid and she said she is fine to have an additional visitor.

I’m looking forward to spending a couple of hours of quality time with my Peer Coordinator while she gets to observe me spending quality time with my CASA kid.