Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by mrscatinthehat, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    I rarely get the newspaper. I did a while back for an article in it. I was going through a lot of old papers like that the other day cutting out the part I want and discarding the rest.

    I found a little article in the latest one about an opportunity. The are asking for people to volunteer for two different programs. One is to be a CASA (court appointed special advocate). The other is to sit on the Citizen Foster Care Review Board.

    I don't even know if they would except me. But both are to help out with families and kids going through stuff like we did and worse. I think I would bring a very different perspective to things. I know I could do it as it doesn't take a lot of time and I have plenty of knowledge to do this.

    What do you all think?


    Am I a glutton for this stuff or do I just need some sort of chaos in my life?
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Odd you should mention that. They use CASA's here and I was reading about it earlier in the week. At least here, it sounded like they were desparate for them. But, it's a volunteer job. They have to go through some minimal training and they meet all the legal people. I kind of wondered if there is pressure to just go to court and say what all those legal people want and expect- kind of like the benefit is supposed to be getting to be in the legal circle. I don't know- I can't do it because I don't have time for another job- especially one that doesn't pay.

    This might be completely different where you are located. You could always check into it and find out how it works there.
  3. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    It is a volunteer thing here too. But the thing is with all we have been through I would not be so easily persuaded to fall into the just get it through trap. But that might be why they wouldn't except me.

  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'd say give it a shot. I don't doubt that you would stick up for what you believe is right- and we all know that more people like that are needed in the system. There's no contract, so you can always stop pursuing it if it turns out not to be what you expect or want. If they don't accept you, who cares- you haven't lost anything.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    From hwat I know, little though it is, most CASA systems are truly desperate for people. They will take most anyone without a criminal record. I looked into it years ago and there was some training, and after that you go to court with kids, meet with the families, etc.... I cannot think of a single reason that they would not be DROOLING to have you be a CASA - you are knowledgeable about a wide range of mental illness and issues affecting children, you are intelligent, and you are curious. And, your hidden BONUS - YOU have US!!

    I don't know about the Citizen Foster care Review Board, other than that foster care across the nation is a crippled system and needs all the help it can get.

    If you have an interest, GO FOR IT!! Worst they can do is say "No", isn't it?
  6. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen


    I did a similar program (sounds like) years ago - Gaurdian at Litem. Yes, spork me if I spelled it wrong. It was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. It's like the middle man between the court, social services, the child and the family. You are supposedly an unobjective person who sees the whole picture surrounding the child.

    I would make home visits, keep in close contact with all involved in school and make court appearances and give an opinion. That is all it opinion.

    You didn't really deal with the child per say, but monitored their surroundings and helped the family steer in the right direction. But, ultimately it meant providing your opinion to the court, which can be very sad at times. I did this in South Dakota about 20 years ago and at that time the philosophy was keep the child with the family at nearly all costs. So, when a Guardian would approach the judge and recommend removal of the child...that was some serious crud. It was also sad to watch it unfold on my part. You do everything you can and the family is still so dysfunctional.

    You have to be prepared to deal with that part of it. It can be intensely rewarding, but also heartbreaking.

  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    I've dealt with CASA's from your grand state of whoville (the tweedles were born in whoville).

    AND the guardian ad litem for wm here is a wonderful lady. Love her dearly.

    I digress, the CASA we dealt with in whoville was the most knowledgeable & helpful lady. More than anyone we spoke with during the adoption process Ms. CASA was the most helpful & understanding. She clarifed many things for us.

    Of all the people who were to have "helped" the tweedles, Ms. CASA were truly tweedle dee & tweedle dum's advocate. The rest seemed to have an "agenda".

    I think you'd do wonderful in that role. It certainly helped me with all I needed to know in your wonderful state regarding adoption & any other question I had.

    Go for it!
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think if you're interested, you should go for it! You would be fantastic:)
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I've seen ads on TV for CASA and have wondered what it is that they do.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Here is my thought for what it's worth. I chose not to when approached. I thought it would be a chance for me to give back to a crippled and deteiorating system and be a good voice for a small person.

    I talked it over with my psychologist and he was in all of the above mentioned guardian ad litem, CASA etc. programs. He worked with the prison systems and counseled the prisioners within the prison (really sick people serial murderers etc) and spoke with their children.

    His point to me was that I wasn't ready to become what the system was asking for in sheeps clothing. He said a lot of agencies have needs and make the position sound so helpful like you are really going to make a difference, and then you get a romantic notion that you'll save even just ONE life - and go for it. Then you get in it and you're up to your neck in muck, and once you meet the kids you feel you can't walk away - they NEED you.

    There are a lot of sickos in this world. I was married to one of them and we went through He77 on earth and to some degree 18 years later still are. The problem is not in your wanting to help and make a change. The problem is in the fact that you can make bigger changes by writing your congressmen or legislators and people rarely do that for the obvious reasons that it probably won't change a thing. Yet these agencies deal with kids that are so much more damaged than either Dude or I was and they'll tell you "those won't be your cases" - but they will. They can't predict what families are or aren't going to do and most of the families are SO dysfunctional you will find yourself in the middle of THEIR drama over and over.

    I've been at this a long time - with one child. I'm worn out, I'm tired, I hate the system, I do write those I've mentioned all the time and try to change things for the better - but I know in my heart that unlike my psychiatrist - I could NOT go home and turn it all off in my head. I don't have training for that. I relive day to day dramas with my own child and own life and abuse on occasion, so I had to ask myself if I really would be the best person FOR a child who is in need. Could I leave work/volunteering problems at the office or would I take it to heart and take them home? I know the answer - so I declined the invitation to help.

    Maybe it would be different for you. Maybe you would get in with cases that were just run of the mill needs. But ask yourself "What if" and then make your choice from there. I am not telling you not to do it. I'm just trying to bring a different light to the round table discussion. (Albeit a large, oily torch from the reniassance) because our systems values ARE that old.

    Just another idea - not a wrong or right one....