'Be an advocate for the children'

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I started volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate about a year ago. My first case was working with a teenage girl who had been taken out of her home because of some serious abuse allegations and, because of unfortunate circumstances beyond anyone's control, she could not go home.

The most difficult aspect of the case, I believe, was that her wishes did not match up with what was in her best interest. However, as her advocate, it was my job to make sure that her wishes were being heard and conveyed. She had many different people telling her what was going to happen and what was in her best interest, and so I stressed that my role was to listen. Even if what she was saying she wanted was not possible, or not in her best interest, I validated and respected it and we had a conversation in which she felt that she was being heard.

Everyone wants to feel like there is someone listening to them, and it was an honor for me to be that person for this young woman. I am very happy to say that she found a forever home with people who love her and care for her very much. She is a champ and I am very proud of her.

Currently, there are over 140 children on a waiting list waiting for someone like you to be their advocate. Training begins September 19th. Visit our website www.casaofrockcounty.org or call 608-305-0187 to learn more!

Allie Miller

Janesville

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