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The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program of the Second Judicial District has selected Patty Harris as its Volunteer of the Month for August 2017. Harris has served as a CASA volunteer since June 2016. Volunteers serve as sworn officers of the court, and help to investigate and gather information on cases when children are removed from a home due to abuse or neglect. The CASA information is provided to a judge who makes the decision whether appropriate steps have been taken to return the children to the home or to find them new, safe and permanent homes.
“My husband actually introduced me to CASA. After being foster parents for 15 years, we wanted to help the children in foster care in a different way and my husband learned about CASA’s mission. We love children and want to see them in a loving family so we decided to become volunteers together so we could share in the experience,” Harris said.
“Patty is now working her second case since she became a volunteer. She did so well advocating for a permanent and safe place for the child in her first case. She built strong relationships with everyone in the case in order to make sure the baby’s needs were being met. She was met with some challenges in the case as all will experience but she overcame them with grace and always had the best interest of the child in mind. I asked her if she would take another case once her case closed and she did. She now is advocating for five siblings,” stated Program Manager, Megan Mitchell Brown.
When asked what surprised them the most about her volunteer experience with CASA, Harris stated, “nothing really. I have seen a lot with being a foster parent in the past. There were things that were frustrating in working my case, but that is normal. I kept my focus on the child and knew that I was doing the best that I could as her advocate.”
When Patty is not volunteering, you can find her spending time with her husband, Danny, of 40 years, taking care of her grandson, and taking taekwondo.