Empathy – Trying on Another Person’s Shoes

by | Nov 1, 2018 | CASA Blog, CASA Updates

Share this post

via Relax and Succeed

Our efforts as CASAs will be null and void if not tempered with empathy.  Empathy affects our connections on so many levels.  First and foremost, empathy is needed to connect with the children we represent.  Empathy does not fix the problem; empathy feels a connection to the problem.  Empathy is an action of vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of our little people…walking in their shoes.

Secondly, demonstrating empathy towards the immediate family, extended family, and other key players in the child’s life may not be so easy.  Although not our primary focus, that connection with those attached to the child aids us in seeing the whole story.  Expressing empathy may mean acknowledging that it is not going to be okay and walking with them in those shoes.

Thirdly, an intriguing twist to empathy in our CASA duties is being empathetic towards the other professionals that we rub shoulders with throughout our cases.  If we put ourselves in the shoes of the social workers, Guardians ad litem, attorneys, judges, etc., we will be enabled to work more collaboratively.  Realizing the loads they carry and the rules they must play by will aid us in tempering our actions and speech.

Empathy means I step out of my own emotions, agendas, and biases and step into another’s perspective and understanding.  Empathy.  A characteristic that will make us better CASAs and greater human beings.

Share this post

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.

CASA Stories

Natalie, Noah, & Nash

Natalie and Noah came into foster care for the second time after their mom relapsed into her...


Kyla was fourteen years old when she came into foster care. Her mom was arrested for physically...

Related Posts

Advocate Spotlight: Rhiannon Inabnit

Advocate Spotlight: Rhiannon Inabnit

Having been assigned dozens of CASA cases since 2015, we are excited to introduce you to Rhiannon Inabnit, a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate for nine years, in addition to being a Peer Coordinator for the past six years. Rhiannon is a familiar face at CASA, and she often admits, “She feels she has grown up in the CASA office.”

Welcome the Lion on Your Path

Welcome the Lion on Your Path

We all encounter lions in our life, our personal life, and our life as advocates. Sometimes our lions are big; death of a loved one, a job change, a placement change, a failed placement, or a child coming back into care. Sometimes our lions are small; sickness, loss of a friendship, an unanswered text or email, a missed visit, a missed UA, or a failing grade. Big or small, they are lions in our path. It is hard to think about where we are heading or where we have come from when faced with the lion. Can I sneak past it? Can I outrun it? Can I fight it?  Can I go back and take a different path? 

Advocate Spotlight: Dennis McCave

Advocate Spotlight: Dennis McCave

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...

Take the First Step

Attend an Info Session