November Advocate Spotlight: Erica Avedikian
This month, we invite you to meet CASA Advocate, Erica Avedikian. Nominated by her CASA Case Supervisor, Shelly Ladden, Erica was kind enough to write a few words about her experience as an Advocate.
As a Court-Appointed Special Advocate, I’ve witnessed firsthand the importance of CASA in the child welfare system. An Advocate provides a consistent presence for a foster child throughout the case, focusing solely on the best interests of that child and providing a strong unbiased voice in court.
I learned of the positive impact of CASA when I attended a luncheon and panel discussion of four adults who aged out of foster care, hosted by The Woodlands United Methodist Church. A panelist credited his Advocate for changing the trajectory of his life by consistently showing up and championing for him when no one else did. His story convinced me that a CASA could be a meaningful lifeline to a child thrown into a tragic circumstance through no fault of his own.
Working as an Advocate has challenged me and expanded my understanding of the child welfare system. The opportunity to speak up for a child during the worst crisis of her young life is decidedly the most fulfilling, significant volunteer work I’ve done.
Throughout this experience, I’ve appreciated and counted on the support and expertise of my supervisor, Shelly Ladden. She has been invaluable as I make decisions and navigate the case. The entire CASA team works to make sure the Advocates are well-equipped to serve foster children.
I joined CASA because this volunteer work makes a lifelong difference in a child’s life. Advocates can’t erase the trauma or grief foster children have experienced, but we can work hard to ensure that these children are either returned to or placed in loving, safe homes where they can begin to heal.