Advocate Spotlight: Dennis McCave

by | Apr 29, 2024 | CASA Blog, CASA Updates

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Having retired from the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office after 34 years, the last 20+ years serving as the Commander of the Detention Facility, Dennis McCave now serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Yellowstone County. Dennis has brought his lifelong commitment to public service into his role as a volunteer Advocate for the past 6 years. He is also a Peer Coordinator, coaching and mentoring other Advocates on their cases. Dennis is currently supporting three CASA Advocates while serving on his own case with 4 kids.

After retiring from the Detention Facility, Dennis was encouraged to consider becoming a CASA. His background and experience in Law Enforcement have been a great help as he navigates the child welfare system, but more importantly, he understands situations with children and parents in the Social Service systems.

 According to Dennis, “Children who are “caught-up” in the Social Service process/system are often struggling with normalcy and often have had negative experiences.” Dennis knows that CASAs are viewed as “stable, supportive, and caring for their needs and wishes” and that is the role he tries to fill on the cases he serves.

Dennis’ first case was working with two children under five years of age. The kids’ dad died several months into the case, and their mom struggled with chronic addiction and dysfunction and couldn’t provide safety and stability for her kids.  Throughout three years, multiple foster home placements, and a three-week reunification that was terminated, Dennis, as the CASA, was the only constant in the children’s lives while they were in foster care.

Dennis is also spending his retirement with his wife of 50 years, two children, and two grandchildren. He has a deep compassion and interest in helping with activities and projects in his community.

Dennis’s advice for anyone considering becoming a CASA: “As referenced often about CASAs is, “You are the voice of the child.” When you become a CASA, it is critical you connect with the child/children, the Social Worker, and the Guardian ad Litem to understand the issues and pursue what is best for the child/children.”

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Court Appointed Special Advocates are community volunteers who speak up for the best interests of children in foster care. Volunteer CASAs work for the best interests of kids by advocating for their safety and permanency.

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