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Meet CASA Advocate Kathy Ramsey

We interviewed CASA Advocate, Kathy Ramsey to learn more about her and her role as a CASA Advocate.

Why did you first become a CASA?

When I was a juvenile, we had a series of circumstances happen to our family that ultimately led to me being placed with a foster family and then sent to a juvenile detention facility. I had NO voice, no one on my side, no one I could speak to about what was happening to me or how I was going to handle it. I’m in my 60s now; I have lots of great life experiences, an advanced degree, and a couple of good careers behind me. When I heard about the CASA program in Denton County, I knew I had found my volunteer calling.

What has kept you working with CASA as a CASA Advocate over the years?

I continue to work with CASA for the same reason I tend to binge on Netflix; once the case is starting to wind down, the CASA Supervisors start talking to me about another case and then I am hooked! I cannot let this new kid go without a CASA helping them navigate the most difficult time in their young lives. I prefer to advocate for teens and preteens and consider it a privilege to be a little light in their life during what can only be felt as a scary and bizarre situation.

 Can you share about a time when you really felt like you made a difference?

I was able to advocate for a teen who had lost her parents and was really struggling. I helped her find guardians who were close family friends. She was able to live near other family members and stay close but found a great placement that could meet her needs. We were able to resolve the case very quickly, without a lot of the trauma that can sometimes be associated with out-of-home placements. This teen went on to do well in school and live a very nice life with the familial legal guardians.

What surprised you about your work for CASA?

I have been pleasantly surprised by the strength of the role as a CASA. In Denton County, we are also Guardians Ad Litem (GAL), which is a legal role in addition to being advocates. The strength of the GAL designation helps to legally open access to information that can be crucial for aiding a child in this process.

Why should people donate to CASA?

Donations give children in CPS care an advocate, a voice, and a caring adult that can be there to help them navigate what is happening. All of the other parties in a CPS case have a specific agenda, mission, and timetable; a list of boxes to check off. CASA has the freedom to carefully consider the best interest of the child without the checklist and program rules.