A Day in the Life of a CASA: Audey Lee
CASA volunteers listen first. Then they act. Audey Lee embodies this CASA mantra as a former CASA volunteer and current SafeCare Home Visitor. Lee has been involved with CASA since 2011 after moving to the Classic City of Athens, GA. It was an event ad in Flagpole Magazine regarding children’s rights that first caught Audey’s attention. With one of her main interests being the rights and welfare of our youth, she soon found herself attending a CASA orientation session.
During her time as a CASA volunteer, Audey’s typical day consisted of five things: calls, diligent search, research, writing and spending time with the children. Throughout her CASA tenure, Audey was responsible for three children. Her days included calling the children’s relatives, forming relationships with schools and police departments, creating medication and incident charts and completing court documentation. Lee stated that her top priority was the diligent search, an ongoing part of foster care in which CASA volunteers locate relatives of the children. But what is one of the most fun and rewarding parts of a CASA’s day? Spending lunchtime with the kids at their school! Audey told a story of driving 4-5 hours to see a child for only half an hour. For Lee, the distance didn’t matter, only the child.
Lee finds that the best part of being a CASA is spending time with the kids and seeing how much there is behind the surface. She says, “It’s more than just documents. Seeing them face to face is clear and the struggles and strengths become clearer.” Although it can be emotionally challenging knowing the difficulties of a child and engaging with the families, Audey has gained a unique experience and many powerful memories. For example, Audey will always remember helping a child celebrate his birthday when no other family was around.
Audey advises new CASAs to keep an open-mind because you will receive lots of information, but there is always more information available. She also stresses a sentiment that she wishes she would have known - remember to look to your fellow CASAs for support. When asked why others should be CASAs, Lee cheerfully says, “Because it is the best way to spend your time to create the most change in a child’s life. It’s a unique experience that teaches something else about the world that they wouldn’t otherwise learn”.
Are you ready to be an Everyday Hero? Apply to be a CASA, and you can help raise a child's voice!