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Antoinette KnapeVolunteer Spotlight: Antoinette Knape

When Antoinette Knape’s youngest child went off to college, she looked for a volunteer opportunity that would allow her to make a difference in the community. She decided to become a volunteer with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Kent County, but she couldn’t foresee how indispensable she would be come to the children she serves. This is especially true in the case of 5-year-old Logan, the oldest of the three siblings she works with. All wards of the court and in foster care due to extreme neglect, Logan is in a different foster home than his brothers and definitely needs someone in his corner. 

Whether it’s advocating for him at his school, at doctor’s appointments, or in his foster home, Antoinette is there to support Logan and is brothers, and make sure the judge on his case knows what is working for them, what services they needs, and even what services might help their biological parents.  She’s a stable, caring presence in Logan’s and his brothers’ lives when they have little stability and lots of questions. 

“When you are empowered with that court order in your hand, people listen,” says Antoinette. “Being a Court Appointed Special Advocate for these children has brought me pure joy. Seeing how you can change the direction of a child’s life in such a positive way is amazing.” 

Antoinette spends 10-15 hours per month with her CASA children, in meetings or court proceedings and writing reports for the judge on her case. She has been working on her case for just over one year, and will stay with these children until they are in a safe, loving home. In this case, it looks like that home will be through adoption, but about half of the children who have CASAs end up going back to a biological parent. 

“Some days I wake up thinking about Logan and go to bed thinking about him and how far he’s come in a year. I can’t wait to see him grow and just be a happy kid,” says Antoinette. “Being a CASA has been such a great fit for me. It’s a serious commitment – you can’t phone it in – but I plan to continue for a long time to come.”

 

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