One afternoon, the Child Abuse Services Team advocates took a much needed break together during a lull in their busy day of helping children. One child in particular warmed their hearts and showed his incredible resilience after abuse. His interactions with the interviewer and advocates had everyone enjoying his unique open personality and his childlike joy of the moment. Through their reaction, the advocates had confidence that this boy was going to heal from his trauma as only a child can.
Our advocates are a special team of interns and volunteers who guide the children who visit CAST. The children get to play in the CAST playroom, and despite the trauma they may have lived through, they are so happy there with the advocates, that for many of them the hardest part of the day is leaving this oasis.
This Volunteer Week, we honor and thank our special advocates at CAST. CAST is a multidisciplinary, public/private collaboration of social workers, medical doctors and a nurse practitioner, a deputy district attorney, and therapists as well as child advocates from the Child Abuse Prevention Center and a representative from Victim Witness. Children are brought to CAST from all 23 law enforcement agencies in Orange County, for forensic interviews, medical exams, and/or crisis intervention therapy. At present, there are 55 to 60 volunteer Child Advocates.
For more information on CAST, including how to become an advocate or to donate, please visit our CAST webpage.