San Diego County CASA of the Month – November 2023
CASA Marie has been a constant source of support to her 2-year-old youth, Amelia, her caregiver, and Amelia’s entire biological family. When she was assigned to the case, CASA Marie immediately felt tension between the caregiver, parents, and the professional involved in Amelia’s case. Once she explained the role of a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), the father softened and took to working with her immediately. CASA Marie gained the trust of the father and improved the relationship and general responsiveness between him and the professionals involved in Amelia’s case. This is a perfect example of how a CASA can be the glue between the youth and the court, the social worker, and all the agencies involved. Amelia’s mother had been involved with the juvenile dependency court system not too long before she entered foster care, and this made some individuals on the case hesitant about the mother’s success in her case plan. While they could see that she was improving, the mother felt she had no external support, regardless of how well she was doing. That was until CASA Marie joined Amelia’s team.
Marie successfully worked with her Advocacy Supervisor to request a child and family team (CFT) meeting to address transportation issues that made visitation difficult for the mother. CASA Marie brought some of the mother’s concerns to the attention of the social worker and the mother’s attorney when the mother shared with CASA Marie that she did not feel comfortable voicing her concerns for fear of making things worse. With Amelia’s best interests in mind, CASA Marie worked with everyone involved to ensure the mother had all the proper resources to thrive during these challenging times. She also observed several visits in the mother’s home and advocated for basic needs like a high chair and crib to ensure that the mother would be able to begin overnight visitation.
Recently, CASA Marie emailed her advocacy supervisor to share the great news that Amelia had returned to her parent’s custody for a 60-day trial visit. Marie is a dedicated and exemplary CASA who gracefully worked hard to make all parties feel heard and accountable.
Name: Marie G.
County: San Diego
Occupation: Trauma ICU/Critical Care RN of 32 years
Became a CASA in: 2022
Advice to a new CASA: “Always focus on your role and purpose as your child’s advocate, especially when things are not going smoothly, keep detailed notes, and rely on your supervisor for advice and support.”
You, too, can make a difference in the lives of youth in foster care. Learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer.
*Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality