Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers ensure that a child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs are met. Dina N. does all that and more for her case youth, “Madison.”
Madison entered foster care in 2020 after it was reported that she had experienced sexual abuse. The family also had a history of reports of physical abuse and child neglect. Madison was taken from the home she shared with her parents and siblings and placed in a local group home.
Although Dina was a brand new CASA, she readily accepted the challenging case and was determined to be the best advocate possible for this girl who had been through so much. She quickly found ways to support Madison in many aspects of her life, like attending meetings at her school and group home.
The biggest hurdle Dina encountered was matching Madison with the right therapist to help her work through her trauma. Madison is very involved in school and sports, so she needed a therapist who would see her on weekends. CASA Dina persisted for months to make this happen. She tirelessly followed up with all parties and kept everyone accountable in a firm but kind manner. Dina’s efforts paid off, and Madison recently began seeing a therapist on Saturdays.
Dina is Madison’s biggest fan and tries to attend all of her sporting events. At a recent game, Madison started crying as she told Dina how much it meant to have her there cheering in the stands.
“Being a CASA has been one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences of my life,” Dina shared.
Volunteer Name: Dina N.
County: San Diego
Became a CASA: 2020
Favorite thing about being a CASA: “What I find the most special is seeing close up the resilience of children and how a supportive adult can be life-changing. It doesn’t get any better than taking a foster kiddo out to do something and them not feeling like a foster kiddo for a few hours.”
Fun Fact: Dina graduated from our very first virtual Advocate University! (The training course for new CASAs transitioned to an online format when the COVID-19 pandemic began.)
You, too, can make a difference in the life of youth in foster care. Learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer.