Hi, my name is Claudia Diebolt and I have been a CASA for 2 1/5 years. I went to college to become a grade school teacher but, due to circumstances, I ended up in retail. This is where I heard about CASA and learned about the foster system. The last few years of my retail career, I worked in procuring merchandise for the Assistance League of Santa Barbara. Their charity was working with the kids aging out of foster care and they provided them with personal items to start their new life. I felt very connected to this project and vowed that I would look into CASA when I retired. I talked to another CASA, signed up for an information session, interviewed and went to class.
My first appointee was a 5-year-old boy in a foster home. I was with him for nearly a year when the case closed and he was back with his parents. He’s in Colorado now, but we still stay in touch. My second case involved a 5-year-old girl and her 7-year-old brother. That case only lasted 2 months. My current appointees are 11-year-old twin girls and their 12-year-old brother. I’ve been with them for about 15 months.
Being a CASA has been one of the most rewarding endeavors I’ve undertaken and I can’t imagine not doing this. These kids have so much to say and it’s important that we listen with a positive attitude, and I know I get as much out of the time I spend with the kids as they do. I have met so many helpful and wonderful people along the way, from my CASA supervisor to the support people in the office to the social workers. Everyone has the same goal in mind and here to help make lives better.