Thursday, Sep 13, 2018
September Advocate of the Month
CASA of Adams and Broomfield Counties is pleased to recognize Howard Yeoman as the September Advocate of the Month. Howard has been serving as a CASA Volunteer Advocate since October 2017, a mere four months into his retirement from serving as a nonprofit executive for 22 years. Howard states that CASA was the first volunteer opportunity he considered upon retirement after learning of the program through a presentation at the Westminster 7:10 Rotary meeting. Howard is currently advocating for an 11-year-old boy. He said he could see right away that the child could benefit from a positive “male influence,” and they immediately started to bond through activities such as attending baseball games, playing chess, enjoying golf, and more.
Unfortunately, the CASA youth had been in the Dependency and Neglect System for three years prior to Howard beginning his advocacy. As the case progressed, it became clear that returning home could not be an option. A potential adoptive family was identified that the boy immediately connected with and that encompassed what he desired, a two-parent household. Howard began advocating for the child’s adoption recognizing this would be the best possible option for the boy to find a safe and permanent home. In the transition of changing homes, the boy had to change schools, but has continued to excel despite these obstacles. Howard noted, “It wasn’t as hard of a transition as it usually is—he is doing better in math, is making friends and likes his teachers. It all seems to be perfect timing.” While the law requires he spends 6 months under the care of his new family to proceed toward adoption, Howard hopes to see him adopted into this family in the fall.
When asked what he believes is his most important role as a CASA, Howard said, “showing an interest in him—talking about what he is going through, his future—makes a huge difference. Kids want to know someone cares.”
He added that it is a good experience. “I feel like I’m doing something useful.”
Howard is grateful to see his CASA child grow and the positive changes that have happened since he was first assigned to the case, but he also recognizes that many others in the same position need the same kind of support. He noted that the 18-year-old deadline “looms high” for youth in foster care and how important it is to make a significant difference in their lives before they age out of the system. He encourages anyone and everyone who is able to become a CASA Volunteer. “I think it’s a shame there is still such a high need for CASAs but am glad we are doing what we can for these kids. Every kid deserves support,” he says.
CASA of Adams and Broomfield Counties thanks Howard for all of his hard work and dedication to the organization. We are proud to have such a wonderful advocate in the CASA family!