Wednesday, Mar 31, 2021
March Volunteer of the Month
Jaclyn is a mom, business owner and healthcare worker who joined CASA last year. She has volunteered in numerous roles and wanted to bring her skills to the child welfare sphere. She has been advocating for a youth whose situation was brought to the department's attention after reports of negligence. The youth had been diagnosed with diabetes at a young age, something that was never properly attended to, and as a result his health had been declining. The mother did not speak English and past attempts to support their family were met with language barriers, and the case was in need of additional support. By that point, the teen’s vision was deteriorating and his kidneys were showing signs of damage. A bilingual life-skills worker was assigned from the Guadeloupe Project to help mediate communication; Jaclyn recalls this being a major turning point in the case.
“That was when the dynamic completely changed. To have someone in the home who understands the family culturally was huge.”
The life-skills worker along with Jaclyn were able to help the teen as well as the mother gain the tools needed to understand his health needs, and to properly monitor them. Both meet weekly at the mother’s home and help organize doctor’s appointments, break down medical formulas and dosages, and show how to be an advocate for the youth’s health.
“You realize everyone is the expert of their own family, and try to offer options to see what will work for their family.”
As a nurse herself, the teen looks to Jaclyn often to seek guidance on medical advice.
“I think that's awesome he is advocating for himself and he is taking a stand in his life, unlike he did in the past. As a CASA I worked to empower him and give him tools to make healthy choices.”
The case is now on track to be closed with the youth remaining at home.
"As CASAs we are advocates, we don’t always have the magic wand but we have the tools to help these families. I try to be sensitive to what will be best for them and their family and how to empower them."
We appreciate and thank Jaclyn for her advocacy and showing how CASA can work to strengthen and build happy, healthy families. Congratulations for being chosen for Volunteer of the Month!