THE march ADVOCATE OF THE MONTH IS:
(Tonie pictured with her family at their annual Lemonade Stand hosted to benefit CASA)
Tonie Sikes has remained a steady and true advocate since she started her first case in July 2018. In her almost 2 years as a CASA she has advocated for 3 cases. She is currently serving 2 cases; each originating in a different county.
When Tonie’s first case ended she was eager for another. She was assigned her next case and then shortly after assignment the family from her first case had another child enter foster care. Without hesitation, Tonie jumped on the chance to take this case back and to work with the family again. She is intentional about the relationships she builds with the parties in her case and continued her relationship with the caregiver after her original case closed. This allowed to her pick up right where they left off and to continue on with their already established relationship.
Tonie also has the unique ability to work with any age child that comes into care. She started with a baby and then her next case was a teenager. She has worked hard to maintain weekly contact with her CASA teen and has been patient in building this relationship. She has understood that the relationship would not be established overnight and has been diligent about reaching out to this child. The needs of an infant CASA child and a teen CASA child vary, but if Tonie ever has questions she is quick to ask for guidance and support.
Tonie is always looking for ways to learn more and be the best CASA she can be. She has attended trainings on Collaborative Family Engagement and used the tools learned in that training to get to know her CASA family. When there were some struggles with different personalities in the foster home, Tonie thought of games that would not only be fun but also a be tool to help those involved get to know each other better and build relationships.
Finally, in addition to ALL of this, Tonie’s case documentation is very thorough and timely and she is a frequent visitor at the CASA office for check ins with her supervisors and for advocate lunches and events. She is always one of the first to volunteer when the CASA staff or program needs help with something; She has brought lunch to pre-service training, spoken at CASA 101s, been on event committees, and is helping put together the hospitality room for the upcoming Amplifying Advocacy Conference.
Tonie has such a kind and sincere heart; If you don’t know Tonie yet, you should find a way to meet her! She is a treasure to the CASA program and serves her children with passion and with a heart of Gold!