My letter is in direct response to the letter from Sylvia De Rooy of Westhaven (“CASA is Broken,” April 30). I am currently a CASA and have been for three years. I was interviewed for “The CASA” (April 23) and although nothing about my CASA child was revealed during the interview it wasn’t included in the story, and that was a decision made by the author not me.
Yes, Sylvia, this is a broken system — I wholly agree — but it is the only one we have. And sure these children have seen and experienced far more than any child should be subjected to at their tender age. However, for the very reason you say the system is broken is the reason a child needs a CASA — we are their voice. It is the one thing that resonates for me when I write my reports, or visit with my CASA children, or speak to their parent(s), or talk to their relatives or their foster parents. I am that child’s voice where it counts the most — in the courtroom, in front of the judge who decides where they will finally go to live.
Look, it sounds as if you had a horrible experience with a social worker and I’m sorry for your bad experience. But honestly, it could be the social worker one time and the attorney for the parent the next time who we might not “get along” with. We all can’t be friends because we’re all doing a job. So I keep in mind that it’s never about me and what people might feel or think or say about me, it’s about that little kid who might not be able to speak up for themselves. I’m just my CASA child’s voice, and so far so good is what I think. In my opinion, CASA is working on behalf of the child to influence the “system” — be it a good system or a bad one.
Sherry Hazelton, Fortuna