Cassie Shepherd

August 8, 2012

CASA


Aside from this terribly awful picture of myself, this is my CASA training group the day we were sworn in by Judge Pazelle. What is CASA you ask? A CASA is a Court Appointed Specialist Advocate. And you're probably still wondering what that is…so simply put, it is a child's advocate appointed by a judge. When a child is appointed a CASA it is usually because they are in the foster care system or are dealing with unusual circumstances that require them to attend court. Most of the time the children have been neglected or abused and in our area 98% of the children we work with come from families with some type of substance abuse.

As a CASA I volunteer to work with a child who as been appointed an advocate. It is my responsibility to advocate in court what the child's wishes are. For example, maybe they are in a foster care home and their wish is to be reunited with their parents regardless. I might also witness certain needs the child displays and I can recommend to the court what I feel the child could benefit from. Perhaps I notice they are struggling with anger management. I could recommend to the course they made need additional resources to help them manage their emotions.

This morning, I was given my case. Due to confidentiality, I can't disclose any information about my experiences, but I am excited to work with my child. She is a 17-year-old girl and experiences very severe symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). I was placed on this case due to my experiences with the girls I nannied in Georgia and all of the research I conducted this summer.
I mostly work with Jennie, the Provo Office CASA volunteer coordinator, and the Guardian-Ad-Litem (GAL). The GAL I'll be working with is extremely friendly and I feel fortunate to have someone who truly cherishes his responsibilities to these children.

I am looking forward to my experiences as a CASA. They are always in need of volunteers so if you're interested visit casaforchildren.org or let me know and I'd be happy to get you in the right direction.

1 comment:

  1. I like the picture! :o) Thanks for the update on CASA. Your explanation answered a lot of questions for Dad and me. It sounds like a great work you're doing. :o)

    We're so proud of you for your caring, sweet nature and your desire to help others. That's our girl!!!

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