One of the most important roles of a CASA volunteer is providing consistency to children in foster care. This reliable presence during everyday circumstances makes it possible for them to provide critical support to their youth in time of crisis.
We are thankful for the extraordinary care taken by Court Appointed Special Advocate Susan, the next spotlight in our “Inspiring CASAs” series, who acted fast to ensure the safety and wellbeing of her case youth.
Three years ago, CASA Susan was paired with foster youth “Trent.”* Trent is a 19-year-old in foster care with developmental delays, who also struggles with mental health. While he has foster parents who care for him, Trent has developed a tight bond with his CASA over the years, even once asking her to be his foster mother. While humbled by the request, Susan couldn’t sacrifice her role as his CASA, and promised him she would be his “CASA mom” forever.
Recently, Trent’s doctor decided to make a change to the teen’s medication, which resulted in Trent hearing voices in his head. This led to the young man engaging in dangerous behavior to deal with his mental stress. When he ran away from home and got lost, it was CASA Susan he phoned for help. Trent told her that he was hearing voices and wanted to go to the hospital, but that his foster parents were hesitant about taking him to a medical center amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
CASA Susan encouraged Trent to stay calm. She quickly contacted a mental health professional who encouraged her to find a local crisis center for Trent to visit in person. Susan found a nearby location for Trent, and his foster parents were able to take him in for care. The staff were able to adjust his medication, and after only a night at the facility, Trent was able to return home.
It was this emergency situation that made Susan truly realize the value of being a CASA. She shared that she didn’t know what would have happened if Trent didn’t have anyone to call. By being there for her case youth and taking action to find him the help he needed, she was able to turn around an escalating situation and ensure Trent’s safe return.
Like CASA Susan, you can be the advocate a foster youth needs. Learn how you can change the life of a child by becoming a CASA volunteer.
*Names and other identifying details have been changed to protect confidentiality.