CASA Blog

25 Jun

The Art of Dialogue

I have a confession to make. I am a word nerd. I geek out over origins, evolving uses, and nuances of language. I have been known to overthink a word choice, as could probably be attested by my fellow CASA staff and even some Court Appointed Special Advocates. The word that’s been getting my attention lately is dialogue. I remember hearing on a public radio show some time ago that there is a common misperception that monologue means one person talking...

09 Jun

Public Transportation and Child Welfare

Photo by City of Billings MET Transit Transportation is something that the average American utilizes daily to get to work, school, the grocery store, to run errands–we employ some form of transportation all the time without even thinking about it. Montana, particularly the city of Billings, faces unique challenges when it comes to public transportation. Billings, which was never designed to be a walking city, has become increasingly suburbanized and spread out in recent years, making it even more difficult to...

30 Apr

How to Make a Difference for Kids Right Now

First, I’ll get the easy one out of the way. If you want to make a difference for a child in foster care – not just right now, but for a lifetime – consider becoming a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate. You can learn more about what this entails by going to the Volunteer button above, or clicking here. You can also read about the true stories of their impact in Yellowstone County by accessing our Stories page up...

21 Apr

Vulnerability and Advocacy

I’ve been thinking a lot about vulnerability lately. It’s a term I often hear thrown around: “That population is vulnerable to infection and illness.” “After the trauma of removal, it takes a lot for a child to get vulnerable with others again.” Or, when playing board games, “That city is vulnerable to attack.” Julia M Cameron Vulnerability can seem like a liability. If I am vulnerable, I am exposed to external pressures and may become injured. I could experience pain—sometimes physical pain, but often even...

16 Apr

How to…Advocate for Children from a Different Religious Background

Imagine that you are a six-year-old sitting at a dinner table with a family you just met. Unfamiliar faces and voices swirl around you in a confusing mix. You don’t understand why you’ve been brought to this home by strangers. Where are your parents and what did you do wrong that they gave you away to another family? The lady who told you she’s your foster mom puts a plate in front of you and tells you that it’s pork...

16 Mar

Now What? Resources for Caregivers During School Closures

Now what? Schools are closed and we’re directed to practice social distancing. For caregivers, that means we’re all of a sudden surrounded by bored, confused, hungry kids. If you’re overwhelmed, don’t feel bad. We all are! Here are some resources to help: School District 2 Breakfast & Lunch for Children School District 2 is providing grab-and-go curbside pickup meals for children ages 0-18. Breakfast will be available from 7:45 to 8:30 and lunch is available from 11:00 to 12:30 at these sites: Castle Rock Middle...

11 Feb

Why I Advocate

For years, I carried around a greeting card. I don’t remember where it came from, but it was one of those cards that is blank inside and has a motivational quote on the front. This one was more of a story than a quote, and it went like this: A man was walking along the beach during low tide. There were hundreds of fish washed ashore, stuck on the sand. He walked by another man who was picking up fish, one...

05 Feb

How to…Advocate for Teens

The blog team here at CASA of Yellowstone County is excited to introduce a series of “how to” blogs. In addition to the insightful blogs you’ve come to expect, we will be sprinkling in entries specific to some of the more challenging aspects of our work. To kick off the series, we’ll be discussing how to advocate for teens. According to the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), thousands of kids age out of the foster care system (turn 18 while...

06 Jan

A Day in the Life of a CASA

Let me preface the following blog with:      I do not live in Billings. Many times I purposely schedule multiple visits, errands, meetings, etc. in one day.      I do not have a set schedule. My husband and I are small corporation owners, so I am in charge of my work day.  Some days are more flexible than others. There are always many options for scheduling my CASA duties.        Court Appointed Special Advocates come from many facets of...

02 Jan

CASA and Civic Action

  Abstrakt Xxcellence Studios I recently received a jury summons. My first response was gratitude that I’d have the opportunity to participate in our society’s judicial process. As a program coordinator at CASA of Yellowstone County, my second response was mild chagrin to learn that the chosen day was already chock full of appointments with Court Appointed Special Advocates and coworkers. My third response was the hope that said CASAs would understand that this was out of my control and the frantic...