Is anyone here a CASA?

Discussion in 'General Information & Discussion' started by MadamReporter, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. MadamReporter

    MadamReporter Thin-Ice Skater

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    I'm getting sworn in tomorrow as a CASA and can't wait to get started on my first case! While the classroom training was extensive, I don't feel like we spent enough time discussing the practical and interpersonal aspects of doing the job. I don't know any seasoned CASAs personally, so I figured I'd cast my net out to my fellow Websleuthers to see if any CASAs out there would share any advice and/or tips and/or guidance about what has or hasn't worked for them over the years. Particularly I'm interested in any words of wisdom regarding meeting the child for the first time and breaking the ice.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Zuri

    Zuri Active Member

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    Best of luck to you! How wonderful!
     
  4. deca

    deca New Member

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    Good for you!!!! I want to do that someday
     
  5. MSCJgrad

    MSCJgrad Member

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    First off, congrats! I know that the CASA is not a short or simple process to complete. You have to be committed and dedicated to the cause... and by the time you complete the training process, you have a decent idea of what you have gotten yourself into! I am not a CASA, however I have worked with children who are victims of crimes for many years. I am familiar with CASA and have seen their representatives see through tons of cases.
    When meeting the child for the first time, it is important to listen-like really, really listen to them. Don't interupt, allow them to speak on anything that comes to mind. Depending on the age of the child you are first paired with, each approach is different, as every person (and child) is different. Educate yourself as much as you can about their situation- their case, what they have allegedly been through, any prior cases, their living situation, school, family, siblings, etc. As far as breaking the ice, I have had great success with cake-pops! Ask ahead of time if this is acceptable, if there are any food allergies, etc. No, giving the child a cake-pop isn't going to make them immediately comfortable with you, or want to share everything with you in the first meeting, but it will make them happy, even if for a second, and even if they do not show it. If they are younger, coloring can help to ease the tension. If they are older, sometimes it is best to be frank with them, explain who you are, why you are there, and reassure them that no matter what, you are going to see this through with them. Let the child know that you are there for them, and that's it. Kids can feel so dislocated and estranged, and in situations such as this, it can be very relieving for them to know that they have an adult person who is there for them.
    Good luck, and I wish you well! This is a great thing you are doing.
     
  6. TTF14

    TTF14 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not one, but once applied to be a CASA coordinator (as a promotion for a job I was in....didn't get it). It's an amazing and crucial program, so thank you for doing it!
     
  7. OtterPops

    OtterPops New Member

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    As a foster and adoptive parent, I always said I'd be a CASA when by job as a foster mom was done. We have adopted 4 kids and got the shock of a lifetime with a surprise pregnancy at 40 (after 21 years of trying everything, btw). Anyway, five small kids is all I can handle right now but when they are all in school, I do plan to pursue it. Only one of our kids had a CASA assigned and she was instrumental in us adopting our 4th, a sibling to our 3rd. Congrats on the new adventure... please do not burn out quickly!! These kids need you!
     

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