"We help children not get lost in the 'system'." -- Cathy Aldrich, volunteer
Cathy Aldrich has served as volunteer for Northeastern Indiana CASA for five years. She is currently working with children in Steuben and Lagrange counties and is passionate about giving children the attention and support they need.
"As a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) I keep children from getting lost in the 'system," Cathy said. "We work to help children have permanency as quickly as possible. We also let them know that someone else cares about them."
Volunteers spend time in court at hearing and appearances to insure that all relevant facts are presented and they work to be an advocate for the child's best interest. This means spending time with the child to gather information and monitor the situation as long as the child is under court jurisdiction.
"Being a CASA volunteer is hard work and a lot of responsibility, but it is so rewarding," said Cathy. "To know that I have the ability to improve a child's life is some way is amazing."
Cathy says her volunteer work is fulfilling because she can witness the direct impact her time spent has on a child's case and their futures.
"Whether it's big or small, I like seeing a child benefit from the work I have done."
Throughout the year, CASAs are trained and equipped through a support team that consists of staff, board members and other interested persons. This means that volunteers like Cathy don't have to wander through their volunteer work without direction. A tightly-knit group of leaders and caring community members make up the backbone of Northeastern Indiana CASA.
"Children are the most valuable people in our society," said Cathy. "Often times left on their own, they don't have a voice or control over what happens to them. We help give them a voice and make them feel important."
To learn more about volunteering or becoming a CASA, click here!