Jun 21 2012
By Erin Findley
“My CASA volunteer was able to see me where I am now.”
This was a powerful reminder for me. Spoken by a former foster youth who introduced himself in a general session at this year’s National CASA Conference. He is a college student. An articulate young man. A voice for other foster youth.
Coming to National CASA, I had been discouraged about the plight of many of our older teens in care. A handful of youth on my caseload have been in care for two to three times as long as I have worked at CASA (2.5 years). These are the kids for whom I feel the greatest sense of urgency and it was evident in the large number of workshops related to older youth that these are among the most vulnerable kids in care on a national scale.
This youth’s simple statement begged the questions for me: What do I envision for my kids? What do I believe to be possible for them? Do I envision stable, loving adoptive homes for them, even when they’re 15, 16, or 17 years of age? Do I fight for those in the face of doubt or opposition? Do I envision these youth as college graduates? As valued employees, or leaders, in their future companies? As future moms and dads who will make a better future for their kids?
One of the speakers asked us to look at these kids not just as aging out of care, but as aging into adulthood. He asked us to think about the possibilities for the kids we serve, to think about what we are challenging our kids to do and what they need to accomplish what they want to do.
I left National CASA challenged and energized by the thought that what we believe is possible for our CASA youth can have a significant impact on what is actually possible for them. CASA volunteers have the opportunity to help a youth see into their future and to set the bar for what they might accomplish. And what a privilege it would be to have your former CASA youth stand in front of a crowd of listeners and recall you as the one who saw where they could be today.
January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 November 2013 October 2013