Hearts of Yolo: Scott Allison

Wednesday, Jan 10, 2018

Last fall, when Scott Allison found himself wondering how he could give more back to his community, CASA was at the top of his mind. “I am good friends with a former and current staff member and my wife is friends with the executive director. I had been considering becoming a CASA volunteer for years and the time felt right.”

Scott applied to the training, was accepted, and has had his CASA child for about six months. “Right now we are building trust. Each time we get together, we get to know each other a little better.” Trust, Scott says, is what he believes is key to being able to advocate for the child. “Being a CASA volunteer is really important. These kids need stable adult relationships so they can trust again. Many just don’t, and that trust needs to be built and repaired. Once that happens, they have the space they need to open up and confide in an adult again.”

Scott says he saw progress in the trust building process when his CASA child, a 10 year old boy, asked him when he would return for a visit. “We were playing and having so much fun and all of a sudden he asked me when he was coming back. It was the first sign he gave me of both wanting a friendship with me and counting on me. It felt really good to get that sign after weeks of working to create a safe space for him.”

Scott’s CASA child lives in the same foster home with his sister, so on many of Scott’s visits, his CASA child’s sister also plays with them. Sometimes, Scott even coordinates visits with his CASA child’s sister’s CASA volunteer. “My CASA child’s sister is the strongest relationship he has and the one relationship that’s been a constant in his life. While I enjoy one-on-one visits with him, I never want him to feel like he has to leave his sister. When he chooses to and feels safe doing so, of course, we do things on our own, but when he wants to stay with her, we always do.”

The Yolo County CASA staff, Scott says, is very helpful. “I want people to know that the staff is wonderful both through the training process and in finding wonderful answers to any questions I might have. To anyone considering becoming a CASA but intimidated, I would recommend they trust the process and jump in." Furthermore, Scott discusses the time commitment, “I have a full time job, a wife, and a teenage daughter but I don’t even look at being a CASA volunteer as a time commitment. It is a natural part of my schedule that I look forward to.”

Scott loves working with the foster parents of his CASA child as well. “I didn’t know what to expect but his foster parents are so welcoming and encouraging of my role. We work together to make sure we get the best outcome for my CASA child. Part of the job of a CASA volunteer is to find an effective collaboration point with everyone involved with the child and work together for the best outcome possible. It’s very rewarding to be on a team whose goal is to create the best outcome possible for a child in need.”

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