DUTIES: Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA’s) are trained to advocate for children in the child welfare system. A CASA develops a relationship with the child he/she advocates for and follows the child’s case to ensure the child receives needed services. The goal is seeing the child placed in a safe, permanent home.
PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Rosalind has spent a lifetime as an advocate. Her varied careers included working as a civil rights worker, a community organizer, and a legal aide for a public interest law firm. She retired from the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct and moved to the Eastern Shore 6 years ago. Rosalind and her husband of 55 years continue the family business of decorating religious institutions. A chance encounter with a child who had “aged out” of foster care and was homeless piqued her interest regarding foster children. Later, at the urging of a New York family court judge, Rosalind decided to explore volunteering as a CASA. She finally trained as one when she relocated in Worcester County.
BEST PART OF YOUR VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE: According to Rosalind,” contributing to a positive outcome in a child’s life is a heartfelt joy. By definition, volunteers are unpaid. Better than monetary compensation, better than money – hands down – was a hand written ‘award’ presented to me by ‘my child’ proclaiming me the ‘best CASA.’ I will treasure my award forever.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU HAVE FACED: Rosalind says, “It is challenging to focus on a child’s needs and preferences while simultaneously reconciling the regulatory policies and procedures of Social Services as well as legal mandates and dysfunctional family concerns.”
WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE OTHERS TO KNOW: “Seeking the best outcome for the child’s situation may include family reunification, long or short-term placement with loving foster parents or adoption. Some assignments are only of short duration and others can last for years. In every case you have the support of the CASA program director and volunteer coordinator. The required time spent with ‘your child’ is not burdensome, but once you realize how much the child appreciates having a CASA, you find yourself freely spending additional time with the child.” Rosalind also shared that she appreciates the many opportunities for continuing education the CASA program offers.
CASA PROGRAM STAFF STATEMENT ABOUT ROSALIND: Rosalind is a fierce advocate who continuously keeps CASA staff members on their toes! Rosalind leaves no stone unturned on a case. She is dedicated to research and finding the truth. She unabashedly offers refreshingly candid encouragement to caregivers and providers, alike, while extending copious amounts of emotional nurturance and understanding to our most vulnerable children. Rosalind broke the mold herself. We are so very fortunate to have her as part of the CASA team!