Heart of Yolo: Norma DeLiberty

Thursday, Oct 4, 2018

When Norma DeLiberty was looking for a meaningful volunteer opportunity in retirement, it was her husband who planted the seed about Yolo County CASA. “My husband worked in mental health and has always spoken highly of CASA and the positive outcomes it produces for foster children.”

She went through the training a year ago and has advocated for an elementary school-aged girl for nine months.  The first time Norma met her CASA child, it was winter and the child was cuddled up in a blanket in her foster mom’s house. “She had a silly smile on her face and was instantly charming.” Norma and her CASA child quickly realized that they shared two common interests -- movies and ice cream. “We’ve had a lot of ice cream together, enjoyed some movies, and on nice days we love going to the park.”

This summer, the Yolo County Children’s Fund gave Norma’s CASA child a scholarship to go to the Davis Arts Center for a Lego art and architecture class. The large group of new faces was a challenge for her but she enthusiastically built buildings, bridges and cars … and a couple of new friendships. It was fun seeing her discover this new world.”

Norma’s CASA child misses her Mom desperately. Now that reunification is strong possibility she is eagerly looking forward to the future. “She just really wants this whole part of her life to be behind her and to be back with her family. Thankfully, her Mom has worked very hard to be reunited with her daughter.”

As Norma reflects on all her visits with her CASA child, one stands out, “I’ll never forget the day she asked me how many children I advocated for. I was helping her with her homework, as I often do, and when I told her she was the only child I advocated for, she had such a satisfied smile on her face. Unfortunately, she has gotten used to being one of many children in the system and I hope that I have taught her that she is unique, special, and deserving of a quality, one-on-one relationship of her very own.”

As Norma’s CASA case comes closer to a happy ending, she thinks to the future, “I would love to stay in touch with my current CASA child if she feels comfortable with that.” She also has advice for anyone considering becoming a CASA volunteer. “Stick with the training. It’s thorough and I am grateful that I completed it. And what comes after… that’s just one of the most special opportunities anyone could ask for.”

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