Pam Buschkill

What inspired you to become a CASA?

I have a good friend in Indianapolis who has been involved in CASA for a long time.She always felt so rewarded by her involvement with the CHINS families.

My working life involved young children and I knew when I retired I wanted to do something meaningful. I cannot think of a more meaningful activity!

What has surprised you most about being a CASA?

I was surprised at the extent of the training. I certainly felt prepared when I received my first case.

What is the best/worst thing that has happened to you as a CASA?

The best thing is seeing children who had no future, being adopted into a home that gives them love and a future.

The worst thing is ending relationships when a case closes. Also, I find it very difficult to be a part to parents having their rights terminated!

The most meaningful event of your time as a CASA?

Tomorrow I will be visiting with two children who were involved in one of my first CHINS cases. They were adopted into a wonderful family and now they actually have a chance at being something productive when they grow up. I am definitely not solely responsible but certainly played a role in where they are today!

What are some of your strongest beliefs about CASA?

1.  Children, no matter what age, have the right to be heard.

2.  Not all CHINS parents are hopeless. Sometimes they just need support and someone to help them navigate the system of court and services.

3.  Making a difference in a child’s life ensures our future since some day they will be our community leaders!

What do you wish other people knew about CASA?

1.  No one is expected to do this job alone. The support we have from our supervisors is invaluable.

2.  Our supervisors are available, knowledgeable and supportive.

3.  The training prepares you very well to do your job.

4.  It is hard to experience some of the situations children are forced into but the rewards of knowing you have helped to make their future brighter is well worth everything.

What would you say to someone considering becoming a CASA?

Just do it!! There is no opportunity to make more of a difference in a child’s life than this. You will be well trained, supported and appreciated!

What do you like to do when you aren’t volunteering as a CASA?

I love spending time with my grandchildren, gardening and traveling.