To give thanks to our CASA volunteers and highlight their transformative experiences working with the children on their cases, our Director of Development, Miranda Graul, has started to interview a few of volunteers in recent weeks. The below Q&A features Joseph Davis, a wonderful volunteer who is in the process of beginning his second CASA case.
Q: Talk about your experience as a CASA Volunteer, consider the successes and challenges and any stories that demonstrate your relationship with the child on your case.
A: My experience during my first case gave me a firsthand perspective on how a CASA must approach each situation that arises during a case. There were many challenges that I encountered during my case. There was a complex family dynamic to navigate. I had to establish trust with the parents to ensure I had consistent contact with the kids. Once the father understood I was there to help, I was able to establish clear expectations with both the father and mother and trust with the children. Early in the case, the mother was very quiet and not willing to speak up at all. At the end of the case, she was using her voice to share her views.
The successes were getting each member of the family – the father, mother, 9-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son. I spent time with each child separately to establish trust and to get to know each of them. Over the weeks, I saw them change from quiet and withdrawn children into open and talkative kids. This change was very gratifying.
Q: Discuss your motivations for getting involved in philanthropy and your reason for choosing Denver CASA.
A: My primary motivation for getting involved is my passion to help children in need. I chose Denver CASA when I became aware of the high number of African American kids who are victims of neglect and abuse and in need of a CASA. I think it is important for kids to have someone who looks like them and has similar cultural and ethnic experiences that they do.
Q: Why is Denver CASA worthy of a donation? What is the urgency in financially supporting the mission of Denver CASA?
A: Denver CASA has the incredibly challenging goal to provide a CASA for every child who needs one. That mission is achievable only if there are volunteers to serve as CASAs and funders/donors who are willing to provide contributions so Denver CASA can hire staff to train and support the CASAs. To ensure the CASAs have the best training and support as they work on cases, increased funding is desperately needed.
Q: What benefit have you experienced in being a CASA Volunteer with Denver CASA? How has your involvement in philanthropy impacted you and your community?
A: The benefit of being a Denver CASA is being the voice of the child who is experiences abuse or neglect and working to find a safe situation for that child by either reuniting a family or witnessing an adoption. Being a part of this process is extremely fulfilling and important work.