Nurturing and Supporting Healthy Children in the Face of Adversity

Nurturing and Supporting Healthy Children in the Face of Adversity

Nurturing and Supporting a Healthy Child in the Face of Adversity Blog | CASA Kane County

Volunteers (CASA/GAL’s) with CASA Kane County (Court Appointed Special Advocates/Guardian Ad Litem) are assigned to children who need a guardian to advocate on their behalf for the court in cases of abuse and neglect.

CASA’s represent the child in court, school, health checkups and other areas where children would need adult support. They are the eyes and ears of the court on behalf of a child. These volunteers are unbiased and have the child’s best interests in mind but nurturing & supporting the children in the face of adversity.

Without having someone in their corner, to cheer them on, check up on situations and be able to confide in, children can be misrepresented and feel alone. This makes the role of the CASA/Guardian Ad Litem very important, not only for the judge who they are reporting to but also the child(ren) who needs the attention and care of the adult to develop. These caring volunteers minimize negative situations and provide positive relationships and experiences for the child(ren) in care. As a community, we must provide opportunities for children and youth in the foster system to overcome  family situations and adverse childhood experiences that could potentially negatively affect their lives.

As quoted by the CDC, “Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity. Toxic stress from ACEs can negatively affect children’s brain development, immune systems, and stress-response systems. These changes can affect children’s attention, decision-making, and learning.” 

Creating an environment that is stable, safe and supportive allows for children to reach their full potential.


There are several requirements children need in order to flourish, as suggested from  the Colorado Children’s Hospital  listed below. Kane County CASA/GAL’s meet with 100% of cases of child(ren) in foster care to provide these basic needs. They act as an extra set of eyes and ears and report to the judge to assure children are getting the best treatment and assistance to grow and thrive.

  1. Security

Children should feel safe and sound, with their basic survival needs met: shelter, food, clothing, medical care and protection from harm. This is not only from their family but also the child’s community, school, programs, friends and in these cases their CASA/GAL.

  1. Stability

Stability usually comes from family and community. Ideally, a family remains together in a stable household, but when that’s not possible, it’s important to disrupt the child’s life as little as possible. When children are placed in foster care in Kane County a CASA/GAL is appointed to the case to be a stable, consistent adult in the child’s life and throughout the court process.

  1. Consistency

Parents are normally the stability for the child. When this is not the case, foster parents and CASA/GAL’s can help provide the consistency a child needs, and this relationship allows them to build trust with adults.  CASA/GAL may be the one consistent adult in a child’s life.

  1. Emotional Support

Words and actions should encourage children’s trust, respect, self-esteem and, ultimately, independence. CASA/GAL’s step in where necessary and act as the supportive figure that will listen and help the child work through their feelings if expressed.

  1. Love

Children need affection and love. Knowing that adults in their lives are caring and loving is beneficial for their emotional growth. Some CASA/GAL’s who have been a part of a child’s life can become life-long trusted confidants and many times continue to keep in touch with children once out of the program. This life-long support is invaluable for children who do not feel love and support from family members.

  1. Education

It is imperative to help children to get the best education possible for a bright future. This includes school, of course, but it also includes the invaluable life lessons provided throughout childhood and adolescence. School can be extremely challenging for children in the foster care system. They may have to change schools, make new friends, and have to adjust to a new environment on top of many other challenges.

Partners for our Children published a report stating, “Students involved in the foster care system comprise a diverse and vulnerable group of learners with complex educational needs. Experiencing child maltreatment and instability generate and intensify academic struggles. Lack of school stability often undermines the potential for school to function as a location to access supportive resources and relationships crucial to healthy psychosocial and academic development.” 

  1. Positive Role Models

Parents are their children’s first and most important role models. With the absence of parents, children often learn boundaries, values, and empathy from those they are around. Foster parents, babysitters, teachers, and CASA/GAL’s are all figures that can provide a positive role model.  Ensuring the adults around the child instill values and teach children empathy is critical.

  1. Structure

Rules, boundaries, and limits: Without them, children and adolescents are forced to be adults before they are ready, and they lose respect for adults and other authority figures. Structure can be defined and set by family, foster parents and CASA/GAL’s to help create a guided and supportive vision for the future.

Depriving children of adequate relationships and support can generate adverse childhood experiences which creates stress and affects the child’s ability to properly react and develop. Working together to support the most vulnerable within our community should be a priority.
CASA Kane County is looking for more volunteers to help support children who need it through the foster care system. A CASA/GAL can truly “Change a Child’s Story” and create an environment that is supportive, structured, secure while providing emotional support, love and care. Find out how you can be a part of nurturing and supporting a healthy child today!


Healthy Children

Want More Information About Volunteering for CASA?

Take the first step and follow these steps online or  attend a General Information Meeting in Person:

  1.  CASA/GAL Volunteer General Info
  2. Becoming a CASA/GAL Volunteer Video
  3. CASA/GAL Role & Responsibilities 
  4. Have More Questions? Answers to More FAQ’S

Follow the Link to find General Information Meeting Dates and Register: 

CASA Kane County is nonprofit volunteer organization advocating for the best interest of children in abuse and neglect situations throughout Northern Illinois. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates/Guardian ad Litem) volunteers are specially trained to become the objective voice of a child for a judge.

CASA Kane County is currently seeking VOLUNTEERS! To learn more and Change a Child’s Story, please visit the organization’s website at or call 630-232-4484.