Meet Tish! She completed CASA training in January 2022 and has already worked on three cases.
Leslie wanted to help kids in the foster care system, but fostering wasn’t right for her and her husband. When she discovered she could work with children as an advocate, she “knew this was the next best thing.” She completed CASA training in 2011 and took on three consecutive family court cases. For one of these, she was part of a co-CASA team advocating for six children. After a break, Leslie returned as a CASA in 2020 and chose to retake training to refresh her knowledge. A very experienced volunteer, Leslie is now on her fourth case as an advocate.
During Leslie’s initial training, she learned about the importance and nuance of reuniting families. She used to believe removal is necessary most of the time. Once she understood the effort and supports put in place to reunite families, her perspective shifted. She explained, “Now I know the depth of trauma that is experienced from removal.”
As for her favorite part of CASA work, Leslie loves “being a sleuth.” She enjoys reviewing files, creating a case timeline, and interviewing people to fill in gaps and put the pieces together. Reflecting on what she would tell a prospective CASA, she said “Volunteering with CASA will change you deeply. You will have your heart broken. You will be humbled when you realize how complicated the foster care system is. You will see hope in action as you work with case managers, attorneys, and social workers.”
Leslie is still a volunteer advocate and a frequent administrative volunteer. She supports CASA’s program by helping around the office, serving on the volunteer team at CASA events, and even writing book reviews for us to share on social media.
Thank you, Leslie, for your commitment to CASA’s mission!
This article is part of the Summer 2023 edition of CASA Connect, CASA of Kent County’s quarterly newsletter. Click here to view a pdf version of this newsletter.
After many years of service, two of our beloved advocate supervisors, Deb Kammer and Rosemary Allen, will retire from their positions later this year. Please join us in thanking them for their dedication to CASA of Kent County and wishing them well in their next steps!
Kay Bylenga became a CASA volunteer in 2004. In the 19 years since then, she has filled many essential supportive roles within the program: CASA volunteer, training coordinator, board member, sponsor, and donor.
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