5/9/09

Mi CASA

I was a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for a little more than two years. I saw the ad for the volunteer position in the New Mexico small town newspaper where I was living at the time and immediately had mixed feelings. It came at a time when I was trying to decide if I wanted to go into the direct service or administrative field of social services. I knew that this would give me valuable training for direct service, but I also knew it would be extremely hard on me emotionally and most likely take an immense amount of time even if it was just a volunteer position.

But I jumped in with both feet and really just threw myself into it. Most CASA’s work on several cases over the course of a year. I had the same case for the entire time I was involved with the organization. It was a family of four children who was being raised by their grandparents. Their mother was a serious addict and every single child had a different father. The kids were taken away from their grandparents because they were found to be keeping these children in cages and keeping them so drugged that the oldest (he was 7 at the time) had started noticeably drooling in school. And it came out later that the grandfather had sexually molested the little girl and that he had severely beaten all four children.

I came onto the case about three days after the children had been removed from the home. And I stayed with them for more than two years. I celebrated birthdays. I worked with the treatment team to try to figure out new ways to work with the oldest when he started showing signs of developing a sociopathic nature due to the level of abuse he had endured. I became good friends with the foster family.

I still think about these children and wonder where they are today. I wonder if they ever found a family to adopt them. I wonder if they were able to find happiness. I wonder if those two years that I will never forget, made any difference to anyone except me.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Well, anytime we touch anyone's soul with care and love and attention that is positive I think we make a difference, so I would say that yes you did make a difference in those children's lives for the better during such a terrible, fearful time in their young lives.