It’s not every day someone will pack up their life and move to a new state with only the intention of helping community members, but that is exactly what Pat and Susan Moore did. Pat and Susan came to the Globe-Miami area to serve in the neighboring community through their church. While residing here, they found multiple ways to give to those in need. One of those ways was serving as Court Appointed Special Advocates for children from Globe-Miami who were placed in foster care due to abuse and/or neglect through no fault of their own.
Pat and Susan were dedicated to this role for 5 years, serving 4 children of various ages as Co-CASA volunteers. Pat came to the program with a history of serving as a CASA volunteer in his previous state of residence and brought Susan on board when he volunteered in Gila County. The two worked their cases as a team; researching court reports, attending meetings and visiting with the children they were appointed to.
“When I retired, I wanted to volunteer in the community in a meaningful way without being in the spotlight,” Pat explained. “CASA fulfilled that need easily with their training and certification requirements and accountability systems that have improved over the years. Each volunteer has ongoing reporting requirements but is treated with dignity and respect. The support level from our supervisors has been outstanding and the Dependency Court Judges very much respect the input from the CASA volunteers.”
“Finalizing the cases, and seeing the children placed in good, loving homes was the high point of our work,” stated Pat and Susan. “Seeing an abused, neglected, abandoned child happy and thriving is very rewarding.”
CASA of Gila County Coordinator Emily Nader reflected on the impact the Moores made. “Pat and Susan came to our community with hearts dedicated to helping others,” Nader stated. “Pat’s experience and Susan’s willingness to help others made this Co-CASA team an example of what the CASA program is all about: advocating for our local children in care until they are in a safe, permanent home.”
The Moores leave this advice for those who are considering volunteering as a CASA for children from Gila County: “First, children matter! Being a CASA volunteer is a way to make a real contribution to the community. Working the cases is a marathon race, not a sprint. It takes time, patience and perseverance. The group meetings the coordinator, Emily, had for CASAs were interesting, encouraging and helpful. Volunteers share their cases with each other and talk about their struggles as well as the victories.
“CASA is not your normal volunteer opportunity. Background checks and training are required before you get a case, then more training is provided. Case party interactions, research, monthly reports, meetings, court reports, hearings and DCS interaction are required during the course of the case. It requires a strong desire to be an advocate for these kids and a commitment beyond the norm,” the Moores explained, “but the joy that can be produced by helping to shepherd a child through the maze is amazing. Being a voice for a child in need that has no voice is a great way to spend some of your retirement time.”
The dedication, knowledge and heart the Moores brought to our CASA program will be missed but we wish them well as they say goodbye to our community and move closer to their family.
“As we say goodbye to these amazing Co-CASAs, we continue to have an in increased need for volunteers in Gila County, especially in southern Gila County. We currently have five active volunteers in southern Gila County and over 60 children who could use an advocate right now,” said Nader.
Anyone looking to volunteer to help our youth in foster care, contact the CASA of Gila County office at 928-402-4427 or [email protected], visit our website at www.CASAofGilaCounty.org, or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gilacountycasa to learn more.