Jamie was nervous about becoming a CASA volunteer. She didn’t have a background in Human Services or lots of experience with kids, but she wanted to help. Would she really be able to make a difference for the children on her case?
She didn’t have to wait long to find out. Jamie was assigned to a case with two toddlers: 1-year old and 2-year old brothers living in a foster home. The boys had experienced severe neglect, resulting in developmental delays.
Last month Jamie attended a training hosted by CASA of Larimer County about trauma and how children typically express it. She learned about play therapy and how it can help children deal with emotional issues. Her CASA kiddos had clearly suffered trauma, and the training directly addressed their situation and behaviors.
Jamie shared her learnings with the foster family, providing videos and other materials on how to interact with and help children who have experienced trauma. Grateful for her input, the foster parents started implementing these approaches. Jamie and the foster family saw immediate changes. The foster parents stated “We had been doing things all wrong. This has made an incredible difference in our home.” Jamie also shared information on a play therapist specializing in these approaches, resulting in the foster family successfully advocating for the oldest child to start play therapy.
Like so many CASA volunteers, Jamie’s influence has been transformational. Children involved in dependency and neglect cases don’t need another expert or professional in their life– they need someone who cares.
CASA volunteers are often the missing link needed to connect all the pieces of a child’s story. By working together with the foster family and taking advantage of trainings, Jamie was able to offer insight to help these boys heal from their past trauma.