Jackson* and his three siblings entered foster care due to domestic violence and drug abuse in their home. At age 12, Jackson was angry and despondent; he was getting into fights and even ran away several times.
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer Kim was determined to see what was behind Jackson’s hard exterior. At first, Jackson was reluctant to open up to CASA Kim, convinced she would leave “just like all the others.” But she kept showing up and gradually gained the boy’s trust.
Jackson shared it had often fallen on him to find money to buy food for himself and his siblings. He also recalled many nights holding and comforting his little siblings as they cried during his parents’ fights or in their early days of foster care. Jackson felt like he always had to put on a tough face.
CASA Kim realized Jackson was forced to grow up too fast and needed a chance to just be a kid. She encouraged him to get involved at a local gym, which helped him build confidence. She also advocated for all the services he needed to succeed at school.
With the support he’s receiving now, Jackson says he feels less displaced, less overwhelmed, and more optimistic about the future. CASA Kim has undoubtedly changed his life.
Volunteer: Kim C.
County: San Diego
Became a CASA: 2021
Advice to new CASAs: Don’t overthink it, just keep showing up.
Favorite part of being a CASA: My favorite thing about being a CASA is the moment when I pick up my kiddo…the small grin on his face lets me know that he knows he matters to me. And I know I am making a positive impact in his life.
Favorite Quote: “Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.” –Brené Brown
You, too, can make a difference in the life of youth in foster care. Learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer.
*Names have been changed to protect confidentiality