In 2011, I felt a calling to give back to our community and so I applied to be a CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer for kids in foster care.
CASA volunteers serve a unique function in the foster care system in that the CASA’s role is to advocate in the “best interests of the child.” CASA volunteers do not have a “client” or a position that they must advocate for. Instead, CASA volunteers build relationships with the child/children, family services and support professionals, attorneys for the child and parent(s), and foster and biological family members to advocate for what the volunteer thinks is best for the child/children.
Over the past 10 years, I have worked to ensure a group of six siblings – who were in separate foster care placements – had consistent visits with each other to maintain their sibling relationships. I supported foster parents of a drug-addicted newborn to ensure that they had proper resources to care for the child who they ultimately adopted. I worked with a sibling group of three to obtain the therapy and support they needed to regain normalcy in their lives after being abused. And, in my most recent assignment, I had the privilege of working with an amazing young lady who eventually “aged out” after being in foster care for 7 years – and who against all odds graduated high school and is starting her first semester of college this fall.
As a CASA volunteer in each of these cases, I was able to be a voice for “my kids” and to speak up for their needs – in a system where all too often they are left voiceless and powerless.
CASA volunteers are often the only role model or supportive adult that kids in foster care have ever – or will ever – encounter. Providing that support and positivity can change a child’s life forever, and it will certainly change yours as well.
About the author
Alison Brasier is a founding partner of Hicks & Brasier, a Plaintiff’s Personal Injury law firm.She loves representing injured individuals and giving them a voice in our civil justice system. She has been a CASA volunteer since 2011.
About this article: This article was originally published in the “Family Law” issue of Communiqué, the official publication of the Clark County Bar Association, (Oct. 2021). See https://clarkcountybar.org/about/member-benefits/communique-2021/communique-october-2021/.
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