We are shining the Spotlight on Julie Wesley this month. She completed training in February 2016 and received her first (and current) case in May 2016, which included three teenage brothers. The older two achieved guardianship and reunification. She’s still advocating for the youngest brother, who has had some ups and downs, but is doing well and has some goals, including attending college, after graduating this year from high school.
Here are a few words from Julie: “Having lived in Columbia for over 40 years, I always enjoy finding ways to give back to the community that has nurtured my children and family. After hearing about CASA from a friend, I felt like it would be something I could be involved in and still maintain a full-time job. The benefit for me was that I signed up with a business partner. We have worked together as a team, known as “The Julies”, to the other members of our case. The curriculum and training to become a CASA is highly informative and not at all time-consuming. I felt more prepared as we ventured out with our first case. Little did I know that my supervisor would continue to be a wealth of information and support through the years with the case we were assigned. She meets with us on a regular basis and is always available for a call; to offer guidance and suggestions. I feel that one of the most important aspects of being a CASA volunteer is that you become the “constant” in the lives of the foster child and bring continuity to the Family Support Team. While some case workers and foster families may change through the years, a CASA remains as an advocate for the child and with the case until it is closed. This is extremely valuable to be able to continue to do what is in the child’s best interest throughout the time that they may be in the foster care system.”
Thank you, Julie, for your dedication and commitment all these years to the young men you advocate for. We appreciate you!