As an advocate, Beth Distasio realizes the potential in every child – provided they have what they need. And at the top of that list is a safe, loving home environment and a support system in their lives.
Unfortunately, we see day in and day out the alarming number of children who don’t experience that stability or support. There are too many children who are subject to abuse and/or neglect and, because of those circumstances, then find themselves in the middle of a confusing and overwhelming system.
That’s where a CASA comes in.
“I was looking for a way to give back to the community and, when I learned about the CASA organization, it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to make a positive impact on a child’s life,” Beth said. “Although, as advocates, we cannot change the circumstances which necessitate our becoming involved in a child’s life, we can be a constant positive in their lives.”
Something she realizes so many children in our community are lacking.
“We can be the person they know will be there for them in any capacity they need, and as a volunteer we do that because we care, not because it is our job. I think this makes a huge impact and is the first step in building a relationship with a child in need.”
Beth was sworn-in as a CASA in May 2017, and currently advocates for a four-year-old little girl.
“I look forward to seeing her each time I visit and am continually amazed at how resilient she is despite what she has been through,” Beth said.
There are currently 460 children in the Luzerne County foster care system because of abuse and neglect. A number that has only grown in recent months.
“There is a huge need for advocates as we have so many children in the child welfare system,” Beth said. “Becoming an advocate may seem like a daunting task when you are in training, but it truly is manageable. Moreover, once you meet a child and become involved, it is a profoundly rewarding experience.”
Beth knows that the hard work that goes into this volunteer work is worth it to the children involved.
“Being able to positively affect a child’s life in some small way and providing that child with an adult who becomes involved in their life simply because they care and want the best for them (is the most important thing about advocating),” she said.
Beth is a paralegal by day and lives with her husband, Dan, and their dog Max. We are so thankful for her hard work and dedication.
If, like Beth, you’re ready to step up for a local child in need, talk to us about becoming a CASA volunteer. If volunteering isn’t right for you, you can recommend someone you know to become a volunteer or make a donation to our program.