Hearts of Yolo Update: Lori Ross

Thursday, Jun 29, 2017

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

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

I've been with my CASA child for over five years. Her father has been incarcerated for most of that time. He was transported to be at one of her court dates early on. She had not seen him in over two years. She told me she really wanted to talk to him. I let he lawyer know and he asked the judge if she could have a short visit. 

A year or so later he was out of prison. The court said he was allowed to see her but he had no phone and no transportation. She was placed three hours away at the time and was getting ready to be moved to an out-of-state facility. They desperately wanted to see each other but the social worker said it was too hard to arrange. I didn't think that was right so along with my advocate supervisor we appealed to the judge for help. It worked! They got to spend an hour together before she moved. He's now back in prison and they write often but she hasn't seen him more than those two times and I don't know when she will again. It feels good to at least have given her those special memories. 

2) What has surprised you the most about being a CASA volunteer?

I was surprised and am honored that the judge actually listens to and follows up with my recommendations. He respects me because of the time I've spent with her. He knows how much I care and that I truly have her best interest in mind.

3) What has been the hardest part of being a CASA volunteer?

It's hard to see her struggle with things that haunt her from the past. I'm there for her but I can't take her pain away.

4) What are your next steps as a CASA volunteer? 

As my CASA child ages out of the system, I am hoping to still be able to continue as her court advocate. Even if my court appointment ends I will continue to be there for her as much as I can.

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

I can't think of any better way to volunteer my time. I am really making a difference for a child who has no other consistent relationship in her life.

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