Three teen sisters were removed from their mother and stepfather’s care due to physical and sexual abuse. Immediately a maternal uncle, still in his twenties, stepped up to be a placement for the sisters, keeping them out of foster care and allowing them to stay together. At first, the uncle and the sisters reported many challenges and expressed apprehension about being involved with the Department, the Court system, and the CASA program. However, thanks to the trust and relationship the family built with their CASA volunteer, they grew to embrace the work the team was doing to ensure that the girls were safe and thriving. What follows is the uncle’s reflection, in his own words, about the impact of their CASA volunteer: 

“The role of CASA was huge for my girls and I. Our CASA appointee is someone the girls genuinely appreciate in their lives. When this all started, the girls and I were all so overwhelmed. Employees from DFS were coming in and out of our home, lawyers, caseworkers, counselors, court dates, etc. With all of this going on at the same time, the CASA’s involvement was the one person the girls learned to confide in if they needed to share something. The girls, for a good majority of the time, viewed everyone else as someone trying to “take them away from their mother.” However, they saw their CASA as someone they could confide in when they thought no one else was listening. They viewed their CASA as the one person on their team. I think the role that CASA plays is significant. It is a way to show the child that even though you might think everyone here is against you, I am here to make sure your voice is heard and not silenced. To this day, their CASA’s involvement means a lot to them, and I genuinely thank her from the bottom of my heart.”