Our mission draws its strength from the incredible individuals in our community who step up—in good times and bad—to let our most vulnerable population of children know there is someone in their corner. During these uncertain times, it is tremendously encouraging to see goodness, kindness, and selflessness in so many people around us.
It comes as no surprise that the generous volunteers who serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) for local children in foster care are stepping up in extraordinary ways—even when facing uncertainty themselves. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing inspiring CASA stories, which we truly hope will uplift and encourage you. Today we share the story of CASA Kim and “Sarah.”*
Kim has been the CASA for 19-year-old Sarah for nearly five years. Over that time, CASA Kim has become the one adult to whom Sarah turns in times of crisis. Kim has taught Sarah how to problem solve, encouraged her to access community resources, and helped develop her ability to advocate for herself. Recently, Sarah had broken some of the rules at her Transitional Housing Placement Plus Foster Care (THP+FC) housing, which meant she no longer met the eligibility requirements for her apartment. Sarah was about to lose her housing, and the program was planning to uphold their requirements despite current public health concerns around COVID-19. With no other viable long-term housing options, Sarah turned to CASA Kim for help.
As a local small business owner, CASA Kim is facing her own hurdles and changes to her business operations due to COVID-19. Nevertheless, she immediately jumped into action for Sarah. Kim called the professionals to see if anything could be done to have her stay at her placement, began looking for alternate housing options if necessary, and encouraged Sarah to be proactive and communicate well with her team.
After speaking with Sarah’s attorney and CASA Kim, the social worker reached out to the housing program’s manager to advocate for Sarah to remain in her placement. Because CASA Kim alerted the appropriate professionals, the program has agreed not to remove Sarah until she has another living situation in place.
We are so grateful for our CASAs, like Kim, who are stepping up in powerful ways for our youth. Consider joining Kim by learning how you can become a CASA volunteer. Virtual volunteer information sessions will be available in the coming weeks.
For more information on Voices for Children’s response to COVID-19, please visit our Response page.
*Names and other identifying details have been changed to protect confidentiality.