Chad Couillard has been a Court Appointed Special Advocate Volunteer since 2018. Since becoming a CASA volunteer, he has advocated for 3 children, one who has since reunified with their biological family. Chad shares that volunteering as a CASA is truly one of the most rewarding experiences he has had in his life.
"My daughter was grown up and out of the house and I wanted to do something to give back to the community. I heard about CASA and since I enjoy kids, it seemed like a good fit for me. Out of the gate, I was assigned a rather challenging case. The young man to whom I was assigned didn't want anything to do with me, or anyone for that matter. I just showed up every week and kept plugging away. Eventually, he began to warm up to me and we were able to establish a great relationship that will continue for a long time. The progress he has made in the almost four years we've been together has been nothing short of amazing. He is kind, funny, and has a huge heart. He will age out of the system in a few months, at which time I will become his legal guardian. Shortly after that, I accepted another case that wasn't quite as challenging, but through persistence and some great teamwork with his GAL, therapist and others, he was reunified with his mother in the spring of 2019. He has since graduated from high school, has his own apartment, and is working full time. We're still in touch and enjoy getting together for lunch or dinner.
The thing I enjoy most about being a CASA is the pleasure of seeing these kids grow and mature. Many people in society would give up on them but they were fortunate to have outstanding professionals and volunteers on their team who cared about and worked tirelessly to improve these kids' lives. At the end of the day, they're just kids who want what every other kid wants - places and people in their lives who make them feel loved, cared for and safe. Volunteering as a CASA is truly one of the most rewarding experiences I've had in my life and I've learned more from the young men I've been associated with as a CASA than I could ever teach them. I'm more socially aware about the needs of children who find themselves in sometimes horrible circumstances through no fault of their own. Sometimes being a CASA is frustrating and heartbreaking, not because of the kids, but the cumbersome and slow-moving system. The CASA staff and supervisors provide outstanding support to help volunteers deal with those situations. CASA Douglas County is an outstanding organization and I am proud to be associated with them."
We are grateful for advocates like Chad who show up every day with diligence and tenacity. If you are interested in becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate Volunteer, contact Recruitment Coordinator Jordan Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org to begin your advocacy journey.