Over 300 Lancaster County children do not have a CASA
You Can Change That!
We began our family journey six years ago by exploring adoption from foster care. Our first son was removed from his birth family at a young age. He moved between many homes, his life was the definition of instability, a rotating door of professionals. When foster care professionals came to visit, we had to reassure our son he would not be removed. With every visit, he was fearful life would change again. He was anxious, fidgety, and visibly nervous. This was heartbreaking to watch.
Three years later, our family again began the adoption matching process. Not unlike our first son, our second son had many failed placements and a very unstable history. However, not long after he came to live with us we met his CASA volunteers Ed and Sue. When my son learned they were coming for a visit, he was elated! He could not wait to see them. He gave a laundry list of things he wanted to show and tell them.
Ed and Sue had been with our son from the beginning of his entry into foster care. They had been a support system for him. They knew his history. They were a constant in all of the changes he faced, and they remained involved. They called and visited regularly. During visits, they took time to play a game, go for a walk, or enjoy cookies with us. Our son never viewed Ed and Sue as a threat. He was never nervous, worried or upset. He viewed them as friends. Ed and Sue genuinely cared about our son and were there to make sure he was in the right place doing the right things. As parents, Ed and Sue gave us support. When they said, “he’s doing well, just keep doing what you’re doing”, we believed them because they knew our son.
If you asked us, is CASA valuable? Overwhelmingly, we say YES! Although our sons came from foster care and had many failed placements, the difference in their experiences is marked – one had a CASA and one did not. The transition and comfort we witnessed within our family tells us CASAs are important and valuable. The neglectful situations children in foster care come from, the upheaval, leaving the only life they know, is a trauma that will stay with them for many years. CASA provides the consistency they need.
Jennifer and Susan
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