CASA chapters from all over the state came and met to learn and discuss how to improve their CASA program. The conference consisted of a dozen different workshops that educated CASA volunteers, administrators and staff on how to make an even bigger impact on the life of a child in need.
Tasha Nicholson, a CASA Volunteer at Children First, attended the Georgia CASA Conference and came away with a positive experience.
“My biggest take away, Nicholson said, is that all kids who are removed from the only family they've known have experienced trauma. DFCS recognizes that kids need therapy but if the therapist isn't a trauma informed specialist it could actually be more harmful.”
State Division of Family and Children Services, “DFCS”, has started new programs to help with this specific problem. By hiring trauma informed therapists to act as a consultant on cases at the local area insure that the therapy is at the level it should be.
However, Nicholson’s shared her concerns in the lack of available certified therapists in specific areas of the state. What do you do when the proper therapist just is not there?
Nicholson also attended a teen parent seminar while at the conference. The seminar was conducted by an organization called Teen Connections; they serve the teen parent Nicholson works with.
“It truly takes a huge team of different individuals to work with these young mothers,” said Nicholson. “How do teen moms financially support a baby, where should the mother and child live, how does child care come into play, etc. I've struggled finding the answers for my teen mom, and hope I can work closer to her life coach to make her successful.”
Overall Nicholson said that conference moral was high and people were excited about what they had accomplished. “We are all a big family and even though there were people from rural to big city CASA programs we all have the same mission in mind. We have some of the same struggles as other programs. It is comforting to know that I'm not the only one struggling.”