First Week at CASA: Omaha

I’ve learnt so much in the past week through my fellowship placement with CASA and visits to other NGOs that I believe will inspire thought and ideas; and through that change in the field of foster care and adoption in Malaysia.

I had an opportunity to accompany a CASA staff to court to meet with other members who were involved in a child’s case and the judge to determine the best outcome for a child. This particular child was exhibiting violent behavior and could have been penalized for it however; the child’s advocate was able to argue that the child suffered from mental health illnesses and was better off in a foster care home. Personalized and frequent meetings such as these ensure that no child is left behind through the system.

I also attended a case consultation in Boys Town, an NGO that gives thousands of at-risk children the love, support and education they need to succeed. This hit close to home as I was born in Boys Town Malaysia where my father served as a teacher to underprivileged children living in the centre. This case consultation was attended by 8 separate service providers that work together to guide the child through her struggles. What I liked most about the method was that the child was involved in the consultation and given a voice to be part of the decision-making process and how working together with other service providers can promote the specialisation of a certain skill and the growth of a holistic program.

I also had the privilege to visit Youth Emergency Services, a drop in and outreach program that provides community support for families and children. The set up and running of this centre was similar to the one I had managed in Malaysia. An area that stood out that could improve the quality of care of children in Malaysia is a bridge to independence program that caters to children leaving institutions and foster care to prepare them for adulthood. Many of these children back home end up homeless due to the lack of support.

Other than my visits to these NGOs, I also gained useful insights and knowledge from staff at CASA. They have been truly hospitable by also filling up my after working hours with exciting and meaningful outings and gatherings such as long walks around the city, a museum visit, a trip to the pumpkin patch and dinners at their homes.

 

 

First Week on My Fellowship

 

I’ve learnt so much in the past week through my fellowship placement with CASA and visits to other NGOs that I believe will inspire thought and ideas; and through that change in the field of foster care and adoption in Malaysia.

 

I had an opportunity to accompany a CASA staff to court to meet with other members who were involved in a child’s case and the judge to determine the best outcome for a child. This particular child was exhibiting violent behavior and could have been penalized for it however; the child’s advocate was able to argue that the child suffered from mental health illnesses and was better off in a foster care home. Personalized and frequent meetings such as these ensure that no child is left behind through the system.

 

I also attended a case consultation in Boys Town, an NGO that gives thousands of at-risk children the love, support and education they need to succeed. This hit close to home as I was born in Boys Town Malaysia where my father served as a teacher to underprivileged children living in the centre. This case consultation was attended by 8 separate service providers that work together to guide the child through her struggles. What I liked most about the method was that the child was involved in the consultation and given a voice to be part of the decision-making process and how working together with other service providers can promote the specialisation of a certain skill and the growth of a holistic program.

 

I also had the privilege to visit Youth Emergency Services, a drop in and outreach program that provides community support for families and children. The set up and running of this centre was similar to the one I had managed in Malaysia. An area that stood out that could improve the quality of care of children in Malaysia is a bridge to independence program that caters to children leaving institutions and foster care to prepare them for adulthood. Many of these children back home end up homeless due to the lack of support.

 

Other than my visits to these NGOs, I also gained useful insights and knowledge from staff at CASA. They have been truly hospitable by also filling up my after working hours with exciting and meaningful outings and gatherings such as long walks around the city, a museum visit, a trip to the pumpkin patch and dinners at their homes.

 

 

 

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