Anatomy of a CASA: MIND
We consulted with CASA children to find out what makes a great advocate. It turns out there are four key components of a Court Appointed Special Advocate… and they happen to be things we all have: eyes, ears, hearts, and minds!
Our CASA volunteers have hearts of gold. They are driven by compassion to help children at risk of being unseen and unheard. These volunteers also have strong minds.
To be a CASA, you must be open to being pushed outside of your comfort zone. You observe. You challenge preconceived notions. You research supports and services. You collaborate with professionals. You seek the best possible solutions for what are likely complicated and convoluted problems. You commit to standing up for the best-interests of your CASA child.
CASA volunteers tend to have a growth mindset – an outlook that transcends all areas of life. We are always seeking opportunities to expand our knowledge and experiences. With a growth mindset, we take on challenges and see them not as a negative, but as a positive. After all, we can learn from obstacles.
Most importantly, a growth mindset means never giving up. One child summarized it perfectly, saying, ““[My CASA] would always tell me she would do everything in her power fighting for me.”
There is always more to learn, more to gain. We hope to pass along this sense of resilience to CASA children. CASA volunteers support them in a way that allows them to move forward, replacing the word “failing” with “learning.” Knowing someone is on their side, they can move past their trauma.