Dear CASA Supporter
The warmth that so many of us feel during Thanksgiving comes from many elements. It could be the coziness of a home with frost on the windows, the presence of rarely-seen loved ones, or the joy of sharing food with family—but at its core the warmth of Thanksgiving comes from the deep sense of familiarity and belonging that this holiday invites.
For a child who has been removed from a home, those two feelings can be what they miss the most. As caring as any foster home can be, Thanksgiving can be a time when a foster child feels incredibly isolated. They encounter different traditions, unusual foods, and new people with new personalities. The average child in foster care in Lake County experiences three out of home placements before a case closes. That means that most must navigate this experience multiple times, and while foster placements can range from upsetting to wonderful, they are always new and they are never “home.”
A CASA is so important because they offer some familiarity through these challenging experiences. Assigned to a child for the duration of their time in the protective care system, a CASA volunteer offers consistency through the volatility and confusion. While a CASA can never replace the comfort of a familiar home, they can be the next best thing and an essential support for children as the CASA advocates to ultimately find that “forever home.”
This Thanksgiving, as your family reflects on everything that you have to be grateful for, I challenge you to include an appreciation for the simple, powerful joys of familiarity and belonging. They are so easy to take for granted, but they are so deeply missed when they are gone