As we head into summer with many unknowns, our Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers continue to support the needs of their foster youth in creative ways. This week’s “Inspiring CASAs” highlight is CASA Kathryn, who shows us how involved a volunteer advocate can be even during this time.
CASA Kathryn was paired with 15-year-old “Jasmine”* in March 2020, mere days before California’s stay-at-home order was put into effect. Kathryn was not able to introduce herself to Jasmine in person, but she knew a good introduction could help lay the foundation for a positive relationship and so wasted no time in coming up with an alternative solution.
Rather than waiting for the stay-at-home restrictions to be lifted, CASA Kathryn chose to call Jasmine right away. She introduced herself and explained what her role would be in the young girl’s life. Jasmine was thrilled to hear that she was being paired with an advocate who would listen to her, put her needs first, and offer support throughout all the various changes happening in her life.
During their conversation, CASA Kathryn mentioned to Jasmine that coloring was a great way to relieve stress and relax. While Jasmine was surprised to find out that adults like to color, she showed an interest in giving it a try. After the call, CASA Kathryn ordered two coloring books and two sets of colored pencils; one pair of supplies for herself, and one for Jasmine. They made plans to virtually color together through video call and agreed to send updated pictures of their coloring pages to each other until it is safe to meet in person.
Despite the safety barriers in place, CASA Kathryn was able to connect with her new case youth in a creative and engaging way. Jasmine has a new healthy outlet to cope with the trauma she has experienced. Even better, she and Jasmine are already forming those crucial bonds necessary to develop a relationship of trust and support.
Like CASA Kathryn, you can provide local children with the tools necessary to help them through what can be a chaotic and difficult time in foster care. To learn more about volunteering as a CASA in San Diego or Riverside County, sign up for an online volunteer Information Session today. You can also positively impact local foster youth by making an online donation in support of our CASA program.
For more information on Voices for Children’s current business operations and opportunities for virtual volunteer Information Sessions, please visit our COVID-19 Response page.
*Names and other identifying details have been changed to protect confidentiality.