Oct 16 2014
The Honorable Darlene Byrne hosted our quarterly Swearing-In Ceremony for 39 CASA volunteers on Tuesday evening. Judge Byrne’s mother joined us for the occasion and inspired her speech to attendees:
I’ve been asked many times, ‘Judge Byrne, how do you keep doing what you do?’ You’re looking at her right over there. I was blessed with the most amazing family network. I knew my grandmas and grandpas, aunts, uncles and cousins. We got together regularly. Tonight my mom and I were talking about that richness of family that weaves a fiber of support. You know people have your back, you absolutely know it to the core of your being. That’s what the kids we serve lack. They so need you to start helping them weave that network and that web of support for them. For many of these kids, often you are the only face that’s a constant. I cannot tell you how critically important that is, how rich that is, how admirable that is… I think you are all incredibly courageous and compassionate and giving.
I need many more of you. I’ve got kids without you. We need more and more of you as this city grows and the tensions grow and the network of social services continues to fragment. Child welfare is like the last safety net before our children fall. We need you to help us make that safety net as strong and tight as possible
There is such hope in the lives of these kids I see, such promise… and in the lives of their parents. I hope that my worst act in life does not define me forever and always. Some of our parents feel like they’re defined by their one worst act and it’s played out in the courtroom for everyone to see. Our job is to try to heal these families, to see whether they can safely bring their children home. In most of the cases, as bad as home is or has been, 95% of kids want to go home. It’s our job to work really hard to find solutions for broken families. I know you’ll help me do that.
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