In mid-December, CASA of Kent County threw a festive holiday party, bringing together court-appointed special advocates and the kids and teens they support. It was a joyous occasion filled with games, face painting, crafts, and of course, pizza.
We’d like to share a true story of hope about a group of people whose lives were impacted by CASA:
- Laura, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)
- Caroline, teenager in foster care*
- John and Katy, foster and adoptive parents*
Here’s a bit of our story. For starters, we never would’ve had a chance to be Caroline’s parents without Laura. Laura was dedicated to ensuring our foster child had everything she needed. When she learned Caroline was unsafe in her prior placement, she used her unique role as a CASA to protect Caroline. After Laura informed the judge, the caseworker, and the guardian ad litem, Caroline came to our home.
Once Caroline was in our care, Laura became an invaluable resource. She spent a few hours with Caroline every week — getting boba tea, doing volunteer work, and generally just bonding and building trust. This was an incredibly valuable bit of stability for a girl whose whole life had turned upside down.
Laura didn’t only advocate for Caroline; she also supported my wife Katy and me. Whenever we faced challenges, Laura helped address them so we could continue providing a loving home for Caroline.
When we couldn’t reach people on Caroline’s team, Laura always answered the phone. Sometimes we were stressed and just needed to talk, and Laura was always there to listen.
Sometimes Laura saw we were overwhelmed with everything: court hearings, police contacts, school, therapy and on and on, and she offered to take something off our plate. Other times, she took Caroline out so Katy and I had time to complete important tasks.
Laura’s support made our lives easier, but it also allowed us to be the caregivers Caroline needs. We were all on “Team Caroline” together, so we made better decisions, which helped make Caroline a happier teen.
On July 7, 2023, Katy and I became Caroline’s parents. Our adoption day was joyful, and Laura made it extra special. She brought cookies, flowers, signs, and a special scrapbook to the courthouse to celebrate our growing family.
We are so thankful for having a CASA volunteer to support Caroline, Katy, and me. Laura has truly been a godsend and has helped change three lives for the better.
Katy and I are not only forever on “Team Caroline” but also on “Team Laura” and “Team CASA.” Thank you all for the wonderful and important work you do.
*Names and some details have been changed to protect confidentiality.
This story was written by the foster and adoptive father of a CASA child and edited for length and clarity by the CASA of Kent County staff. Thank you, John, for sharing your story!
To read more about Carolie’s story, click here.
This story was featured in the Winter 2023 edition of CASA Connect, CASA of Kent County’s quarterly newsletter. Click here to view a pdf version of this newsletter.
This year, I completed my first CASA case as a volunteer. I can confidently say that serving as a CASA has been one of the best experiences and biggest honors of my life.
Caroline sat in her high school counselor’s office with her hoodie pulled tightly around her face, as if it could protect her from the rest of the...
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