With news reports published this week on the effects of COVID-19 on local child abuse reports and the child welfare system across the country, we are increasingly aware of how critical it is to give a voice to children who have been abused, neglected, and abandoned.
During this time, we are more grateful than ever for the generosity and selflessness of our Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers, many of whom are stepping up in extraordinary ways to ensure children’s needs are being met. As our staff and volunteers continue to meet the challenges ahead, we are sharing inspiring CASA stories, which we truly hope will uplift and encourage you. Today we share the story of CASA Kristin and “Destiny.”*
Kristin has been Destiny’s CASA for over a year and a half. Destiny has Graves Disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes an overactive thyroid. After turning 18 in November 2019, Destiny moved from a residential, educational campus for foster youth to an apartment through a transitional housing program for foster youth. With the support of CASA Kristin, she has done well in her new living situation.
In January 2020, Destiny received radioactive iodine treatment for her condition, which required her to be in isolation for at least three days. Kristin called or texted Destiny consistently to make sure she was doing well.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Destiny shared with Kristin that she has been very concerned because her immune system is compromised. She even confided that she has had challenges obtaining food now that she is living on her own. Upon hearing this, CASA Kristin went to the grocery store, purchased several non-perishable and frozen food items, and dropped them off on the teen’s door step. Destiny was so grateful! Kristin continues to support Destiny during these challenging times, checking in with her every few days through text messages or a phone call.
Simple acts of support like texts, calls, and stocking a pantry help our youth know they are not alone during isolating times. Most important, the connection Kristin has developed with Destiny allowed Destiny to feel comfortable sharing her concerns and struggles in a time of need.
Consider joining Kristin by learning how you can become a CASA volunteer. Virtual volunteer information sessions are scheduled in the coming weeks.
If you’d like to help Voices for Children provide more CASAs, like Kristin, to children in foster care, please consider making a donation.
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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.