For Robert Barrett, JD '11, one of his favorite moments as a CASA volunteer came when he figured out the teenager he was appointed to watch out for needed glasses.
Given all the uphill battles for the teen—his mother's struggles, finding a foster home—his poor eyesight somehow evaded notice. Until Barrett.
Barrett was assigned as a court-appointed special advocate for the 17-year-old earlier this year through Boston CASA. CASA trained him and supervises him as he advocates on behalf of children involved in abuse and neglect cases in Suffolk County. Barrett provides regular reports to the court that supplement reports from case workers and anyone else who has contact with the children.
Barrett met with the boy several times a month, and texted even more. It was this repeat contact that helped Barrett notice that the teenager needed glasses. Barrett then reached out through CASA and found a donor to pay for glasses.
"At first he really didn't understand why I was there," Barrett said. "And frankly he may still not understand why I'm there. But he knows that I'm there. When he turns 18 and ages out of the system, as other obstacles may confront him, he knows that he has at least somebody to reach out to."
For more info, visit BostonCASA.org.