2023 - 2024 Child Colloquium Series
|Community in Support of Foster Youth — What is a CASA?
|Saturday, December 2, 2023
|10:00am – 12:00pm
|Kira Steifman, PsyD and Deborah Weisinger, PsyD
|Yen Quoc, PsyD
San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis
This is an in-person event only; remote participation is not available.
Community in Support of Foster Youth — What is a CASA?
What is a CASA? And where does this fit within the umbrella of community support so sorely needed for foster youth?
Both CASA and A Home Within are committed to helping foster youth grow and develop primarily through volunteers.
One of the hallmarks of A Home Within is the matching of a foster youth or former foster youth with a pro bono therapist “for as long as it takes.” The goal is to help these youth find a stable, caring relationship with a therapist who is committed to their growth and development in the midst of trauma and multiple losses in foster youths’ lives.
Casa, the Spanish word literally defined as house, is also used informally as home. A CASA is also a volunteer, a Court Appointed Special Advocate, part of a national program for foster youth. Through advocacy and mentorship, the San Francisco Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program empowers community members to stand up for a foster child and champion their rights in court. In addition, the relationship with a CASA is a community support for the foster youth.
We are members of these organizations: Kira Steifman, PsyD, a therapist and former Board Member with A Home Within, and Deborah Weisinger, PsyD, an analyst and relatively new volunteer with SFCASA. Our presentation will examine how foster youth benefit from broad community support that addresses the many difficult and complex systems that they are thrust into. While the roles of therapist and advocate are different, there are also overlaps.
We will present a vignette of a foster child in the Foster Care System who is matched with a CASA and, perhaps, a therapist through a Home Within. Based upon the vignette, we will discuss needs and challenges that arise through a psychoanalytic lens, referencing journal articles that will be available to those attending. In our conversation with Colloquium Participants, we will examine the home that can be created in the community and within the youth, specifically within relationships to caring adults. Our goal is to help sustain the foster child through the many ups and downs that the loss of their primary home creates, and to promote their success.
The Child Colloquium Series are offered free of charge through a generous support of the SFCP and the Sophia Mirviss Fund.