Alma’s Volunteer Corner: We’re All In It For the Kid

Sept3This week I’m spending time getting to know my CASA kid’s grandparents. For the ease of writing, I’m going to call my CASA kid Shauna.

I’m going to visit Shauna’s grandparents in their home later this afternoon. They seemed really nice on the phone and she told them about who I am and what I do, so they are looking forward to meeting me, too.

My goal for this visit will be to learn about Shauna’s support team and who her family resources are outside of foster care. I will talk to her grandparents to get a better understanding of who they are and if/how they can play a part in Shauna’s success. I will discuss what they think Shauna needs to be successful in the potential reunification efforts.

I have a meeting scheduled with Shauna and her support team next week. Unfortunately, I’m going to be out of the state during the visit, so I’m trying to make time to call in to the meeting. Shauna said she understands, but I can’t help but worry. I really enjoy our team meetings and I want her to know she can count on me. I’m trying to coordinate a visit with her outside of the team meeting to check in with her and let her know that I spent some time with her grandparents.

It’s tricky scheduling time with Shauna. For the safety of both the child and the volunteer, Lane County CASA volunteers are not allowed to be alone with their CASA kids. The foster facility that Shauna is currently in is limited in their resources. This means it’s difficult for them to provide a single staff person to observe my visit with Shauna. When I attend team meetings, it’s very convenient because I get to spend time with Shauna and her caseworker.

For CASA volunteers who work full time, schedules will conflict. My solution is to keep everyone in the loop and find as many ways as I can to reschedule. Because we are all in it for the kid, we can usually find a good solution.