Jaie Brown is about to celebrate her fourth anniversary as a Fairfax CASA volunteer, having been sworn into service in October 2008. Over the years, she has advocated for children and youth of all ages from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds – a total of nine children on four separate cases.
In this Q&A, Jaie talks about what drew her to the CASA program and how it felt to advocate on her first case.
How I learned about CASA:
I first learned about the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program in April 2004, when close friends of our family were involved in an abuse and neglect case with the city of Chesapeake Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. Toward the end of the case, the GAL for the child mentioned that due to the complexity of the case and its negative outcome, he felt the child would have benefited from the involvement and advocacy of a CASA volunteer. Because I am passionate and dedicated to children’s issues I decided to investigate the CASA program and become a CASA volunteer. I made a promise to myself to pursue volunteering as a CASA for Fairfax County, and was elated when I was accepted and subsequently sworn in on October 2, 2008.
Memorable CASA Moment:
All through the CASA training, the importance of the CASA Court report was stressed. I admit that I did not realize how important this document was until I was in a hearing and the Judge commented that he had thoroughly reviewed the CASA report, and asked the attorneys if there was additional information that needed to be brought to the Court’s attention. When everyone agreed that the report was accurate and sufficient, I was amazed – proud and amazed.
What means the most to you about being a CASA volunteer?
Advocating for a child by becoming a CASA volunteer is probably one of the most challenging volunteer opportunities I will ever encounter; but I never doubt that my efforts are valuable to the children that I serve. It’s all about the children. I feel I am needed and I can truly make a difference.
Would you like to become a CASA volunteer? Join us on Saturday, October 20, 11:00 a.m., at the Burke Centre Library for a one hour information session.