The Norman Transcript

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March 26, 2014

Local CASA supervisor named ‘Child Advocate of the Year’

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“Working with our volunteers is really great,” Page said. “They put so much time and effort into their cases to make sure their children are safe and protected and that they get permanent homes, like every child deserves. Just knowing the impact we have is really unique.”

Page said CASA is a great program because volunteers handle one case at a time and are able to invest more time into a child’s case; DHS workers often are overworked.

A CASA volunteer is one person the child can count on to constantly be there for them, Young said. She has worked on the same case for about four years.

DHS workers have come and gone, there have been several different counselors and the child has been placed in several different places, but she has worked with the child since the beginning and has provided consistency for the child.

“No matter where they wake up, Rebecca is always going to be there,” Page said.

Young said she always makes sure the child’s voice is heard and they get what they need.

“Seeing kids go back home is probably the best part of it, or if they can’t go home, seeing them adopted into a great family,” Page said.

While the volunteer effort seems time consuming, Page said volunteers typically spend eight to 10 hours a month on their case. Much of that time may be spent making phone calls and gathering information, then spending time with a child on the weekends, she said.

For those thinking about volunteering, “do it,” Page said. “Be their voice.”

CASA is always needing more volunteers. There are currently 10,000 children in Oklahoma in the welfare system needing someone to advocate for them, Young said.

She advised anyone who is thinking about it to do three things to help them decide if it is right for them.

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