Meet Jen, The CASA Volunteer

Posted on November 13th, 2015


1) What originally made you want to become a CASA Volunteer? Growing up, my parents encouraged me to speak up, voice my thoughts and feelings, and advocate for myself. When I first heard about CASA, I was struck by the thought of these children, who were victims of abuse, having no voice. I was intrigued that a person from the community with no social service or legal background could actually help these vulnerable kids by being their voice in court. The more I learned about the program, the more certain I was that I wanted to be a CASA volunteer.

2) What is the most rewarding part of being a CASA Volunteer? For me, the most rewarding thing about being a CASA Volunteer has been knowing, without any doubt, that I’ve tipped the trajectory of a child’s life in a positive direction at a critical time. Often a CASA is the only constant adult throughout an abuse/neglect case. Therapists and case workers come and go. Placements change. To earn the trust of a child in such a traumatic situation, and be the gatherer and provider of their story to the judge making decisions for their well-being, is a profound and rewarding responsibility.

3) What advice would you give someone interested in volunteering with CASA? If the idea of becoming a CASA intrigues you even a little, look into it. If you decide to become a volunteer, jump in right away after your training and meet your CASA kid. This is all new and it’s probably going to feel foreign. But be patient with yourself, keep asking questions and building relationships. Remind yourself your job is to give insight to the court on what’s best for the child and the judge values your “common-sense” perspective.

 4)Tell me a little about yourself…. background….age, family, career, etc. – I’m 45 and grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. I was the 17th person in my family to attend the University of Iowa. Go Hawks! My husband and I met in college, got married and lived in Iowa City until 10 years ago when we moved to Indy. I now work full-time for a non-profit. My husband and I have two active teens who are involved in lots of sports and other activities that keep us running.

5) When did you become a CASA volunteer? I finally became a CASA volunteer about a year and a half ago (2014). I had learned about CASA several years before, but I waited to commit until we weren’t anticipating any more big life changes (e.g. babies and moves!) and then I went for it.


Child Advocates could not operate without the help of our incredible CASA Volunteers. For information on how you can be a CASA Volunteer, visit www.childadvocates.net