Advocate of the Month – May

THE APRIL ADVOCATE OF THE MONTH IS:

LAURA BATES

What is the definition of an advocate? One who pleads the cause of another. Specifically, one who pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court.

Laura Bates has been an advocate for a little over seven months and recently closed her first case. Laura has been a shining example of grace under pressure. She was assigned to a case that had been open for more than a year and was marked by high emotions and differing opinions of what the outcome should be. Laura accepted the case and quickly became knowledgeable of the facts, and most importantly, kept an open mind and unbiased attitude. She made far more than the minimum number of required visits to the child so that she could see her in a variety of settings, as well as with her foster family and biological family. She was diligent in speaking to attorneys and caseworkers, too. She made herself readily available to all parties so that there was never a lag in communication on her part.

This particular case proved to be quite challenging. Laura dealt with a variety of unusual circumstances that, at times, created frustration, discouragement, and even sorrow. Through it all, she stayed focused on what is most important: the best interests of the child. She leaned on the CASA staff for support and advice, and she relied on her pre-service training to navigate uncertain waters. These are qualities of an exceptional advocate!

Child advocacy is not for the faint of heart. It requires grit, determination, and dedication. Laura Bates possesses all three, and we are so thankful that she has chosen to share them with the children of Walker, San Jacinto, and Trinity Counties.

Champion, defender, proponent, ADVOCATE.