Hearts of Yolo Update: Claire Tauzer

Thursday, Jun 1, 2017

Last year we profiled Claire Tauzer, one of our incredible CASA volunteers. Today we are excited to share an update about her experiences as a CASA Clairevolunteer this past year.

  1. Can you describe a special moment that stands out to you as a CASA volunteer?

Eighteen months ago I met a shy kid whose life had just gone through some very drastic changes. As we built our relationship over the past year-and-a-half, I’ve seen him make great progress. An example of this happened recently in court. He brought a plaque that he received for academic achievement with him as evidence that he is doing well in his foster home and wants to stay there. He spoke in an empowered, confident manner. The judge was really impressed and took his words very seriously. Everyone in the audience was tearing up as he advocated for himself. It was really special to see all of our work culminate in that moment. I was used to being the one who advocated for him, but that day, he took on the role himself. I loved the moment and the symbolism.

  1. What has surprised you the most about being a CASA volunteer?

I’m surprised that so much growth can happen in such a short time. I used to be a high school teacher and I know that adolescents and teenagers can change rapidly so I try my best to give him room to change his mind but make sure he is true to himself. I realize more and more how important a CASA’s role is. As he goes through all these changes, I’ve been the most consistent relationship in his life. I never knew I’d have the opportunity to make such an impact when I set out to be a volunteer. It makes me grateful and I take it very seriously.

  1. What has been the hardest part of being a CASA volunteer?

There have been moments where my perspective has been different from my foster child’s perspective. I’ve had to work hard to find a balance between what I think is best for him and what he wants. I try to follow his lead and give him little prompts or nudges when he seems to indicate he needs them.

  1. What are your next steps as a CASA volunteer?

My current case will last at least six more months. Even when the case is no longer active, we have talked about staying in touch long term. I look forward to continuing my work as a CASA volunteer and with CASA in general for a long time.

  1. If you had to sum up being a CASA volunteer in one sentence, what would you say?

Being a CASA can be emotionally challenging because you build a strong relationship with your CASA child, but it's worth the sacrifice because you can truly help change their life.

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