Volunteer Voice

Introducing Renee

July 29, 2014  |  Volunteer Voice  |  Comments Off

When I think about the two different youths I’ve been matched with, I’m tempted to say they are completely different. Yet what they have in common is that they are both two of the kindest souls I’ve been lucky enough to know. I’m going to focus on my first experience here. Reading the files to choose a youth was harder and easier than I expected. It was easier in that I immediately knew which youth was meant for me. It was harder because, as one classmate put it, “when you choose one, you’re not choosing the others.” Absorbing the history of

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Introducing Cate

July 1, 2014  |  Volunteer Voice  |  Comments Off

I became a CASA after taking a job related to foster care policy.  I had previously done direct-practice social work, so I had an idea of how important CASAs could be. I thought becoming a CASA would help me stay connected to the heart of social work, even while working in a policy office. After CASA training I was matched with Mariah, who at age ten had been in the system most of her life, yet was generally described as a typical, well-adjusted, if a bit nerdy, kid. She loved school, her favorite subject was math, she had been the

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Introducing Judy

May 1, 2014  |  Volunteer Voice  |  Comments Off

I became Sarah and Diana’s CASA four years ago after retiring from Macy’s, where I had a retail career for 33 years in buying and merchandise planning. I had thought about becoming a CASA volunteer while working at Macy’s, but realized that with my travel schedule, I might not be able to devote the time needed. And was I ever right about that! Sarah, now 18, and Diana, now15, are sisters, who lived in the East Bay with their much older sister when I became their CASA. The girls’ mother drifted in and out of their lives, struggling with substance

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Introducing Nancy

April 3, 2014  |  Volunteer Voice  |  Comments Off

I became Raymond’s CASA eleven years ago after retiring from practicing law. At the time of my CASA appointment, Raymond’s mother faced longstanding, significant challenges with substance abuse, and his then-foster parents, with whom he and his older brother had lived for most of their lives, had just submitted notice for Raymond to be removed from their care. At the time and for years to come, Raymond understandably felt rejected. The fact that they ultimately adopted his brother made the abandonment even more painful and thereby the psychological impact significant.  Since then, Raymond has lived in three different foster homes, some

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