Advocate of the Month – April



April is showered with blessings, and one of the blessings we want to shine a light on is our Advocate of the Month, Gigi Clayton! Gigi has been an advocate for seven years and is currently serving on a case with a teenage boy.

In a very short period of time, Gigi has formed a strong bond with her assigned kiddo. They speak on the phone at least weekly, and many of these calls are initiated by him. It is always so wonderful when our teens feel safe and comfortable enough to pick up the phone and call their CASAs. Gigi talks to him about all his needs and wishes and is quick to fulfill as many of them as possible. Gigi has made sure he has clothes and shoes in the styles he likes as well as items as basic as toiletries. What teenage boy doesn’t want good-smelling cologne and body wash? She also takes treats on most of her visits. Sometimes they are simple things like Cutie oranges, and other times the treats are a bit more elaborate like pizza. Being sensitive towards all the children in the placement, Gigi’s special deliveries always include everyone. Gigi does a fantastic job of making her child feel special and loved.

The child in this case has experienced multiple placements, and Gigi visits him immediately. He doesn’t ever have to wonder or worry if she will know where he is. Gigi also ensures that when he moves all his belongings go with him. One time he moved, and some things were left behind, and she made the long drive to his previous placement to pick them up. Regardless of the distance of his placements, Gigi visits him at least monthly; but often, she sees him at least twice a month. Time and distance are irrelevant to Gigi if her kiddo needs her.

Since being assigned this case, Gigi has also done a terrific job of connecting with the family. She has identified people important to the youth and has investigated their willingness and ability to be part of his life. Gigi is extremely supportive and available to the parent of the child. They communicate regularly and she is willing to do whatever is within her means to help her.

Gigi is an advocate who goes above and beyond for the people in her cases. She is selfless, supportive, eager to help, and determined that her assigned child’s voice will be heard. Gigi is a blessing and a ray of sunshine to all of us who have the privilege of serving alongside her.