CASA Blog

13 Aug

“Quick, Tell Me About CASA”: Polishing Your Elevator Speech

The work of CASA of Yellowstone County is filling an urgent need in our community by advocating for the most vulnerable among us: abused and neglected children. As a Court Appointed Special Advocate, Peer Coordinator, Staff or Friend of CASA, how do you spread the word about our work? Do you have an elevator pitch that you use to introduce CASA to outsiders and entice them to learn more? If not, now’s your time to refine your ambassador skills! What is...

05 Aug

New Normals

“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.” -Unknown. Humans are amazing beings. We learn languages, social interactions and behaviors within a matter of years as young children, and those learned behaviors continue to form the way we grow and learn for the rest of our lives. But when dangerous and destructive influences are present in the lives of children from the very beginning of their existence, these are the habits and lessons that are...

29 Jul

CASA Small Groups: Drawing from the Well of Community

Volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates in Yellowstone County are a varied lot. Our ranks include active retirees and young professionals. Some work within the home and others part or full time in institutions or businesses. What we do hold in common: We are busy people! Busy people do not need one more meeting a month. If we are going to take the time, it needs to be worth the effort. The Small Groups offered by CASA of Yellowstone County are...

16 Jul

Talking is Hard

The title says it all. I mean seriously, verbal communication is not an easy thing. It is super challenging to find words in your brain and make them come out of your mouth, in a sentence that has a subject, predicate, direct object, maybe some prepositions, and ends with a period. Never mind keeping your adjectives and adverbs straight. And! Let’s not forget the fact that we all have our own weird idiosyncrasies and neurotic mannerisms that get in the...

09 Jul

Foster Care in England

It was in December 2006 when a London pediatrician first noticed bruises on 11-month-old Baby P’s face and chest. The infant was put into the care of a family friend, but only for a month before he was returned to his mom. Six months later, another examination determined that his new bruises were the result of abuse, but this time he remained with his birth family. By August 2007, Baby P was back in the hospital where his broken back...

03 Jul

Book Review: Crucial Conversations

I’ll admit it: I’m a bookworm. Any time I’m hoping to build my skills in any particular area, I’m likely to ask at some point, “Are there any good books about this?” So when I dove into this world of CASA and all the emotions that we encounter throughout the course of our cases, I was excited to receive a recommendation for Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler....

26 Jun

‘Trauma Season’: The Challenges of Summertime

For many children, the school year means regular meals, adult supervision, and a safe place to go during the day. As the school year wraps up and summertime begins, many of these basic safety nets go away for the summer months, leaving children who experience abuse and neglect in their homes more at-risk than ever. Statistically, summertime is one of the most dangerous times of the year for children and is known among medical and public health communities as “trauma...

11 Jun

A Little Criticism Goes A Long Way

via iMom As CASAs, how about striving to inspire and lift up the spirits of our kiddos? These little people come from environments that are full of criticizing and scolding. Their ears have heard domestic violence in one form or another. They have experienced hot tempers and vulgarity due to traumatic situations. Voices have escalated and the little beings have been caught in the middle. Even if the rage was not toward them directly, they still suffer the negative consequences. The abused...

07 May

Why CASAs Matter: The Judges’ Perspective

Over the course of their work, Court Appointed Special Advocates often hear that their work matters, that they have made a difference. But what kind of difference? After all, it is not the Advocates themselves who make the decisions about these kids’ lives. The judges of the 13th District Court make those tough decisions. Hon. Jessica T. Fehr speaking at a lunchtime training event in the CASA office on February 12, 2019. At recent CASA events, several of those judges spoke about...

01 May

Yellowstone Valley Gives & CASA

April was an important month for CASA of Yellowstone County, as we dedicate it each year to recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month. This allows our organization to make a special push for awareness of the issues that are sadly all too common in the cases served by our Court Appointed Special Advocates. This increased awareness often translates to greater interest from individuals in the possibility of volunteering as an Advocate, as well as an influx in donations which in turn...