'The Greatest Gift you can Give'
Karen Blevins has been an advocate for two years, and is currently advocating for four children on two different cases. A retired CNA with a growing family, Karen can only be described as the energizer bunny! “The greatest gift you can give is your time, and so many children would love to have just a little of it,” states a very empathetic, yet witty, Karen.
Specifically, Karen recalls a recent case, to where she successfully advocated for the permanent placement of Jacob (name changed for privacy). Jacob was in his mid-teens when Karen met him, and had been in and out of foster care since he was a toddler. Karen can very easily, but emotionally, describe their first meeting:
“I could see the hurt in his eyes and the pain in his heart. It broke my heart to see a boy that had so much potential, who never asked for the situation he was given, and was falling through the cracks…it lit a fire in me.” A year after that initial meeting, Karen watched as Jacob was permanently placed in the loving home of his aunt and uncle. “All I could do was cry. His voice had been heard. It was like a flower blossoming.”
Karen feels strongly that her great working-relationship with the Lancaster County Children and Youth Social Services Agency has played a key role in advocating for every child she has served, especially Jacob. She’ll often ask the Caseworkers if there’s anything she can do to help, and together, they get the job done. “It’s always about the child, and what I can do for them.” Karen tries to meet weekly with the children she advocates for - creating the foundation for a trusting relationship. She reaches out to their families, and anyone else who plays a key role in their lives.
Karen has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. “Every child I help has their own story, and it gets me fired up. It gets me even more motivated.”