1. What made you decide to become a CASA?
CASA is a great organization with a lot of good people helping kids. I feel anyone who has been as blessed as I have should give back to the community, and I am privileged to be part of this amazing group!
2. What is your professional/ volunteer background?
By day I am a Key Account Manager for Ben E. Keith Beverages. On nights and weekends, I have worked with Cooks Children’s and spent many years as a Big Brother at BBBS.
3. What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a CASA?
Go for it! The feeling of helping kids in a difficult time is very rewarding. You will help the kids more than you know and the personal fulfilment is a wonderful byproduct.
4. What has been the most challenging part of being a CASA?
The most difficult part of being a CASA is keeping a professional demeanor with the kids. Resisting the temptation to become closer to the kids than the job entails. My kids are awesome, and I would love to help them more than the job allows. I must remind myself that I am not here to fix their problems, but rather to help them navigate this difficult time in their lives.
5. What has been the most rewarding part of being a CASA?
For me the most rewarding part of being a CASA is when it clicks with the kids. The day you connect. They have had a hard time and are not sure who to trust. When the kids realize you are going to keep coming to see them and genuinely care what happens to them, the bonding begins, and you can almost feel it in the room. You are making a difference in their lives and they know it.
6. Please share a special moment with us about your advocacy work with your CASA kid or on your case?
My kids moved from their initial foster placement to a new foster placement. When they were moved the CPS Caseworker could not fit their bikes in the car, so they had to leave them behind. I was able to pick up the bikes and take them over on my next visit. The kids were super excited and acted like it was Christmas morning. It was fun to watch.
7. Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself or the CASA experience?
My wife (Tanja) took the Helping Hearts training. This whole experience can be difficult on many levels. It has really helped me to be able to discuss the case with her. She is pretty smart, and her input has been very valuable to me. It helps to have someone to talk to when things are “not fair”.
Child Advocacy Specialist, Chelsey Statham, “After being sworn in Tim jumped right in and was quick to develop a rapport with both of the boys on his case in addition to the foster family and relatives. Tim visited the children regularly at their school and foster home and was instrumental in getting them placed in their current relative placement. Tim truly advocated for them when the other parties were hesitant to move the boys. Both children are doing well in their placement and in school and look forward to Tim’s visits. Without Tim’s advocacy these boys may still be in a foster home but now they get to live with family and go to school with their cousins. Tim takes the time to visit with each boy individually as well as the whole family to make sure all of their needs are being met!”