"Judges in Dane County can do a powerful thing, they ask for a CASA volunteer so that someone in the community, outside the system, can get to know a kid, identify their individual needs, and bring their story back to the forefront during legal proceedings.
I have an advocate who I assigned to work with two children who were placed in kinship care. This volunteer committed, as all CASA volunteers do, to spending one hour with the brother and sister each week. In addition, they spend a couple hours per month in the library picking out items that they know the two of them will enjoy. These are kids with totally different personalities. The little girl is subdued, she enjoys being read to, and singing songs from Disney's Frozen. The little boy is bursting with energy. He responds best to activities that channel his energy, such as riding his bike. On one visit he showed the volunteer his color changing cars that react to temperature. He was thrilled to watch them change under cold and then hot water. The volunteer helped to come up with creative ways he could change the temperature such as putting the cars in the fridge, or in his armpit. He loved it.
These children were able to be reunified with their dad. Their volunteer continued to visit with them when they went home, continuing to do uniquely designed visits with them, and even help to brainstorm with dad when the little brother's energy gets to be a lot to handle. Visits continued for a year following reunification, to ensure support for the family and to help set them up for success. Dad has come a long way, and his successes and the children's handling of their transition, is all known in detail by the judge and legal parties, because of the regular filed reports by this community volunteer."