Monday, Aug 23, 2021
Jane Hay was sworn-in as a CASA volunteer in January 2020 and has volunteered on one case since that time, serving three children aged 7, 6, and 2 years old. The children have been in foster care throughout the case and have made strong connections with their foster parents. Jane describes the children as “the sweetest, most delightful little kids that you could imagine!” She reports that she has a fun relationship with the kids and tries to play with them and show an interest in them. The oldest child has really opened up to Jane, asking questions about the judge and telling Jane what he would like the judge to know in court. More than anything, Jane has worked to be a steady presence in their lives. She says, “they’ve settled in, and they know they are in a very secure, safe place.”.
Jane was previously retired when she became a CASA volunteer, but has since returned to work. She made sure that her hiring manager knew how important her CASA work was to her and would be flexible about the time needed to be an advocate. As a grandmother to five, she knew she wanted to give back to other children who didn’t have the stable family supports that her kids were raised with. She now sees herself as a “grandmother” of sorts to the children on her case.
Jane emotionally describes the impact that these kids and the case has had on her saying, “I really care about these kiddos. There have been times throughout the case when I’ve said, ‘I can’t do this again,’ but then I stop and think about the needs of these kiddos.” She is so connected to the children she serves that she demanded to be able to be there when they had to transition foster placements so that they would see a familiar face. Even though it has been emotional work, Jane says that she is such a staunch supporter of the CASA program that she wants her husband to become an advocate and work her next case with her!