I am highly passionate about giving back in many ways, but there is one way that grabs my heart in particular. In my home state, I am a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA, for a foster care child.
CASA’s are responsible for acting solely on behalf of the child,
and the work is completely volunteer based. Other positions
related to the foster care system are paid and typically have their
own agenda, while the CASA’s only intention is to ensure that the
child is safe and everything that takes place is for the highest best
interest of the child. We are essentially the eyes and ears of the
court and are responsible for recommending what future actions
would be in the best interest of the child.
While I am passionate about the entire system, my true calling
lies within’ the children who are born to mothers that have drugs
in their systems. The children, “drug babies”, are often born with
drugs in their systems as well and therefore suffer from symptoms
relating to those drugs. Unfortunately, many of these children lead
lives where they experience high levels of trauma early on, and
therefore they struggle with the symptoms of those traumas for
the rest of their lives. It is my sincere hope to bring change to this
The current federal laws around foster care sometimes make it difficult for children to go into homes that serve the highest and best interest of the child. Often times, children end up in homes that end up unsuitable and then land back in the foster care system in the early years or teenage years of their life. This increases the amount of childhood trauma they experience which can be highly damaging to their entire life. I seek to push for change within’ the laws to act within’ the best interest of the child from the time they are a born, to ensure that these traumas are minimized or, better yet, eliminated entirely.
While I contribute in many ways through financial contributions and volunteering my time, my CASA position is the one that I am the most passionate about. This project is the one that inspires me to keep working hard to make a difference, and I won’t rest until I see to it that children are always treated in the way that is best for them.
To learn more about the CASA program, please visit here: www.azcourts.gov/casa