November 2022 Advocate Spotlight: Becky Clausi
We invite you to meet Becky Clausi, nominated by Case Supervisor Erica Avedikian.
“Becky epitomizes child advocacy,” Erica said. “She works tirelessly to understand all facets of a case. The children in her cases absolutely love her, and their parents, placements, and family members trust her because she puts so much effort into getting to know them and learning about their family. Besides being a fantastic Advocate, Becky is one of my favorite people. She makes every room a happier place.”
We asked Becky to share her experiences as an Advocate.
Is there anything unique about your background that contributes to your approach to advocacy?
I was an elementary school teacher, and I had many students whose lives were very difficult. These children need as many caring adults helping them as possible.
How did you become interested in volunteering as AN aDVOCATE?
I first learned about CASA through billboards and flyers, but it wasn’t until I found out that a friend was an Advocate that I decided to apply. I was looking for a volunteer position helping children that would allow me to get to know the people I work with, and CASA fits this description.
Did you have any reservations about volunteering?
Yes, I was nervous because I had almost no experience with courtroom vocabulary or procedures. By working with my supervisor and spending more time in court, I have become more comfortable, but I still have more to learn.
Explain in your own words the work you do as a CASA aDVOCATE. Why is it important for a child in care?
I try to determine the best interests of the child by building relationships with everyone involved in a case including the children, parents, foster placement, family members, attorneys, caseworkers, etc. By keeping the best interests of the child in mind, the child will hopefully have a stable, safe, and nurturing place to live.
What has surprised you most about your aDVOCACY work?
It surprised me how much the judges at County Court of Law 3 (Judges Amy Tucker and Jack M. Riley) appreciate CASA’s work and recommendations.
What has been the most difficult aspect of being a casa? Most rewarding?
The most difficult part is feeling that I’m not doing enough. Most rewarding is seeing how much the kids enjoy our visits.
What would you like the community to know about children in care?
I would like them to know that the children in care have teams of people trying to help them, and that it is rewarding to be a part these positive efforts when you can see they are making a difference.
What have you learned about children in care?
I have learned that most children in care have parents who have also experienced trauma in their lives. The family service plan put in place by the court is intended to guide the parents in getting the help they need.
Is there a particular moment or memory that stands out for you?
I’ll always remember the time that people in the courtroom were clapping for a mother who was able to have her children returned home with her after almost two years.
Anything else you want to share about CASA?
CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County is very active. They are always trying to improve and to learn how to better advocate for children in care.