When a Court Appointed Special Advocate meets their assigned youth for the first time, they are usually faced with a child who is frightened and wary of a new adult. This was the case for CASA Nancy with her assigned youth Kimberly*, who was removed from her home because of harrowing circumstances. Kimberly was put in an adoptive placement while she underwent a criminal trial involving a family member. CASA Nancy cultivated a close relationship with the family, and most importantly, she developed a lifelong connection with Kimberly. Throughout the trial, CASA Nancy stepped in and persistently advocated for the personal well-being of Kimberly. She was there every step of the way, helping Kimberly process the emotional effects she was experiencing from the trial. CASA Nancy stayed in close contact with the trial attorneys, always being in the know and having the latest knowledge about everything involving Kimberly in order to advocate for her best interest. As the trial went on and Kimberly was asked to provide her testimony to the court, CASA Nancy worked with the trial attorneys to ensure Kimberly had scheduled preparation time to help ease her anxiety. On top of this, CASA Nancy attended all the proceedings and sat in the front row, ensuring Kimberly knew she had someone by her side the entire time.
With the support of CASA Nancy, Kimberly demonstrated confidence in giving a candid testimony and the court was then able to reach a verdict. It was then that CASA Nancy could see Kimberly finally feel a sense of relief, knowing that this part of her life was behind her. One week later, CASA Nancy had the honor of attending Katie’s adoption proceedings, which was an emotional day for her and the whole family.
At the end of the hearing, Kimberly hugged CASA Nancy and said, “Please don’t ever leave me.” They continue to stay in touch, and CASA Nancy continues to support Kimberly emotionally as she settles into her new family life.
Volunteer Name: Nancy G.
Became a CASA: 2019. Has served as a CASA in different counties for nearly 20 years before joining Riverside County.
Favorite part about being a CASA: “The gifts of love and trust given to me from all eight of my CASA kiddos and to see their evolution from fear to confidence throughout our relationships.”
You, too, can make a difference in the life of youth in foster care. Learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer.
*Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality