CASA of HoCo Advocate of the Year - 2015
MEET DANIELLE T.
"CASAs in Houston County are welcomed and appreciated by Judge Edwards, GALs, DFCS caseworkers, and DJJ officers. We are really part of a larger team working together to serve the children in our area."
HOMETOWN - Alma, GA
I was born and raised in GA and about 3 years ago my husband and I moved here to Houston County for jobs.
I have a BBA and Master's in Accounting from Georgia Southern University (GSU). In my free time I enjoying TRAVELING, reading, and spending quality time with my cats!
As a CASA I have advocated for seven children (three cases total). My first family was a sibling group of two teenage girls which I'm still involved with, and I'm currently advocating for a sibling group of 2 more girls ages.
Q: How did I get started with CASA ?
A: I first heard about CASA during college, but I wasn’t able to commit to a long-term case at that time. When I moved to Houston County, I learned about the program here and contacted Ida (Advocate Coordinator) about getting involved.
Q: Why do you keep taking cases?
A: I keep taking cases because there are still neglected and abused children who need to be seen and heard. I work with so many dedicated volunteers, but unfortunately there are still more children in need than CASAs to go around. I can see also see directly how CASA really makes a difference in the lives of the children we serve.
As a CASA, I have two primary responsibilities. First, I make sure the children’s wishes are heard in court. Second, I make independent recommendations based on my training and understanding of the case. Since I am working with only one to two cases at the time, I am able to really get to know the children and to understand the case from all perspectives before making a recommendation. Since I work independently as a volunteer, I am able to focus exclusively on the children’s best interests.
I was relieved to learn about the thorough training process before I became a volunteer. I felt totally unprepared to take on this role, but Ida and Velicia were there every step of the way during the training process. And now that I am working cases, they are a constant resource and sounding board for my questions and ideas. I couldn’t do my job as a volunteer without their support. I have learned through continuing education classes and conferences that not every county is as fortunate as we are. CASAs in Houston County are welcomed and appreciated by Judge Edwards, GALs, DFCS caseworkers, and DJJ officers. We are really part of a larger team working together to serve the children in our area.
Since becoming a CASA, I have learned even more about the need for qualified volunteers. Unfortunately, the number of foster children in our county has increased over recent years and the need is greater than ever. Every child's situation is unique, and every child deserves a voice.
We are so grateful for the efforts of Danielle, and her advocacy for the children she serves. Danielle offers a powerful voice, and a strong presence for all of the children for she is a true champion of what it means to be a light of hope. We are delighted to have her as a intricate part of our team"