Judge Byrne inspires new CASA volunteers at Swearing-In

Aug 14 2014

The Honorable Darlene Byrne led our Swearing-In Ceremony Tuesday night with some wonderful words about the valuable work our newest CASA volunteers will be doing:

I want to let you know how important what you’re doing is. You cannot replicate your time. It’s gone. This evening we will spend some minutes together and it is gone forever. So I know the significant sacrifice each one of you are making to do what you’ve been called to do - which is to be a voice for children who’ve been abused or neglected by the very people who they rely on to provide a roof over their head, a story time, a bath, a ride to their friends house… someone they can count on. They don’t have those things.

But the thing that I’m so thrilled they’re going to have is your courageous voice. I will tell you there are times when you are the only one… the only voice saying this is what’s best for this child in this case. You may be very alone at times. The attorney for the child or each of the parents or the caseworker may be saying something totally different.

I need you to stand true to the oath you’re going to take tonight. I know when you stand in front of me, even if you’re the only one saying those words, that you will be so committed to those words. That you believe with your heart and soul that what you’re asking me to do is for the best interest of that child you represent.

26 CASA volunteers sworn-in

Speak for their best interest. Do it with vigor, courage, excitement – go after it. Do not let your opinions be boxed in. You’re there to be thinking outside the box – not inside the box of policy and what budgets require and what the State can or can’t do. I’ll deal with that. But I cannot do my job well without you advocating for these children with everything out on the floor for their best interest.

I want you to make my job hard. I want kids to thrive and flourish and have a great education and all the supports they’re entitled to.

What you’ve embarked upon is going to be giving up a lot of your precious time and minutes but I speculate what you’re going to get back as a CASA is going to be 3, 4, 5 or 10 times more than what you give. These kids are amazing. Absolutely amazing.