How do you know if you’re the right fit for a tough assignment? One sure sign: You keep on doing it.
That’s what happened with Jean Carr-Andrews.
She has been standing up for Clark County children and families as a volunteer with Court Appointed Special Advocates–CASA–for more than a decade. Being a CASA is a demanding volunteer job. In many ways, it is unlike any other. But if the challenges are great, the rewards, say Carr-Andrews and other Clark County CASAs, are far greater.
Carr-Andrews has had a lifelong love for children, and for seeing them flourish. But it wasn’t until she became a volunteer with CASA that she could take that love and turn it into advocacy. That’s when she knew she had found her community service destiny.
“We are the only ones in the system who have the chance to see the entire environment in which the child is living,” Carr-Andrews says. “And we have to make sure they are being served properly. If they are not thriving, what can we do to turn things around for this child, this family, in our community?”
Carr-Andrews was looking for a way to directly work with families and children when a friend mentioned CASA was seeking volunteers. A CASA plays a unique role in the child custody system, she learned. No other person is dedicated solely to advocating on behalf of a child who has been removed from a home. A CASA volunteer is quite often the most consistent adult in the child’s life during their time in care.