I am excited to say that I begin orientation this Saturday to become a "Court Appointed Child Advocate" for Atlanta Georgia! I am excited and nervous at the same time - but it's a good nervous and excited!
My training classes will be on Saturdays which is nice because it won't interfere with my hectic daily weekly schedule. It won't affect my own healing in therapy during the week, and it won't take time away from my own boys at home (even though they are teens and are capable of holding their own at times).
For anyone who doesn't know what CASA is - CASA is a program for trained and skilled Advocates to take on cases where children are taken out of abusive homes and placed in middle housing. These children need an advocate to stand for them, be a mentor, and to be placed in a safer environment.
Once you are appointed a child case, you stick with that case and child until it is complete, and then you move onto another case. You are a mentor, ears, and a heart for the child. You are there to show them that they are not alone.
The training is 8 weeks long with 40 hours in court assessment. Once you finished all the hours required you become certified and you are put in the system to begin taking cases.
I have moved towards this before, but backed away because I wasn't ready yet. This is a tough job; a job that requires looking into the life of my own past and childhood, and knowing how to separate the two.
I am sure it's going to be tough at times seeing a child go through some of the things I went through, but there is a blessing and a curse to this: I can give a voice for a child - something I never had. I can stand for a child and help that child be put into a better home.
One of the great things about this is that My therapist and I are working hard to help me a long in this. I have my own therapy 3-4 times a week and being a part of this training and program I know I can turn to my therapist when it seems hard at times. I have support and that is one of the greatest tools I have.
I think this is going to be very rewarding and healing for me. There are times it will be trying I heard, and sometimes I will come to a case where it will be so devastating to see, but that is where my own support system comes in. I think my own healing is going to be the driving force to help others ad visa versa.
So the orientation begins this Saturday and training starts September 7th. I am excited, nervous, blessed, honored and sad all at the same time. MANY Emotions but I am ready for this.
Next year I will be a CASA and begin a journey to helping others have the very thing I didn't have as a child - A VOICE!