Carole Dameron has devoted almost 15 years of her life to CASA. As a volunteer advocate and donor, she gives her time, heart, and resources to changing foster children’s lives. We asked Carole to share about her experiences as a CASA and why she gives in so many ways.
My daughter worked for CPS for several years and also for CASA for a brief time. She told me about some of the children and the suffering and trauma they endured. While working at CASA she suggested I become a volunteer.
When I received my first case with three children and began meeting with them, I was “hooked.” I have had several cases since then, and it never ceases to amaze me the pain – emotionally and physically – that parents can inflict upon their children. Each one of the children I have served has almost always brightened my day with a smile and a hug when they see “CASA Carole” come to visit! They all want the same thing: someone to care about them. Yes, being a CASA requires a lot of time traveling, documenting, and writing court reports, but caring about the children is so easy!
Most of the cases I have worked have ended very happily with the children being placed in a loving forever home. There have been grandparents who stepped up, a school secretary who fell in love with three sisters, a military family who had grown children but adopted 2-year old twins. The list goes on and on. THESE are the people who deserve praise. I work a case for approximately a year, but
they make a lifelong commitment to these children.
The Constancy of CASA
When children are removed from their abusive home by CPS, they leave with a stranger. They are then taken to a strange office where other strangers ask them questions. At some point, they are taken to a strange shelter or foster home with other strangers. Is it any wonder they cry themselves to sleep at night? Even though the abuse is over, they have so much fear as to what will happen to them next. I hope as a CASA volunteer I have been able to alleviate some of their fears and give them encouragement about their future. We also have some fun along the way!
Throughout a case the children are moved from shelter to shelter, foster home to foster home, relative to relative. Caseworkers change. Therapists change. Sometimes they never meet their attorney. The one constant person in their life is the CASA Volunteer. When I leave court after the final hearing, I always have a sense of loss because I know that I will probably never see the child/children again, but I know I have made a difference in their life in some small way. Who knows, perhaps they will become a CASA Volunteer one day!
You are an inspiration, “CASA Carole,” and we are so thankful to have you!