John’s friend was volunteering as a court appointed special advocate (CASA) in a neighboring county and John thought it would be something he would like to try. John was intent on finding a volunteer effort that would directly involve him with others on a personal level. He wanted to see first-hand the impact of his volunteer time. CASA sounded like a good fit and John attended an awareness session. A few months later, he found himself in the Volunteer Training class.
Once John started the training, he realized that one of the challenges would be remembering that every situation can be and is different. After being assigned to his first case, it did not take long for John to realize that the biggest challenge of all can be to advocate for the best interest of the youth without getting too emotionally involved. “It is difficult not to get too emotionally connected to these youth!” John stated.
John was assigned a sibling group with two children aged 14 and 13. John’s CASA children had suffered severe abuse and neglect prior to being removed from their home and placed into the foster care system. Since John was assigned to the siblings; the children have experienced over 17 different placements in the past three years. At nine months into the case, John realized that he was the most consistent, compassionate adult in the children’s lives. At the ages of 14 and 13, John’s CASA children had not experienced a consistent, compassionate adult in their lives who was qualified to fight for and protect their right to be safe and to be treated with dignity and respect.
John has spent over 240 hours on his case – either with the children or advocating or their behalf. He has driven and donated over 5,500 miles to visit and advocate for his CASA children. John is a CASA – an Everyday Hero.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Lancaster County provides court appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children. CASA volunteers believe that every child deserves to grow up in a home free of abuse and neglect, and that growing up in a safe home is a fundamental human right. CASA volunteers fight for that right, they lift up children's voices, they lift up children's lives with the belief that every child deserves a safe, nurturing, and permanent home.