In February 1996, Ardis Weible completed her 40 hours of orientation training for CASA and began working her first case. That was nine years ago. Since that time she has advocated for eight children. Taking her appointment by the court seriously, Ardis works with abused and neglected children in foster care to insure that their needs are being met, emotionally and physically, have appropriate housing, that their educational issues are addressed, and that they know someone cares and is looking out for them. She is involved in the big things in their lives, writing court reports on their behalf and attending court, and she is a celebrator of their lives, making sure birthdays and holidays are special occasions. Anyone who has ever transported two children with ADHD issues, or supervised them at a public gathering can begin to imagine some of the elements involved in Ardis’ volunteer contribution.
Ardis supports foster parents, and is respectful of the difficult job of caring for special needs children 24 hours a day. She is a team player, attending Child and Family Team meetings as an active participant; having frequent contact with her CASA kids, she has information that assists the team in decision-making. Ardis maintains regular contact with everyone involved with her CASA children. Her maturity, dependability, patience, and commitment to her kids earn her respect by those involved with a case. When there are family members available, Ardis builds relationships with parents, adult siblings, and other relatives, always looking for ways to promote positive experiences for the children she serves. Ardis always has her eye on the big picture – the permanent home for the children she serves, and works to assist others in moving toward that goal. Ardis makes a commitment to her CASA Children that will only end when they don’t need her anymore…however long that may be.
Ardis is committed to children and knows they are the key to the future of this community. Her work with each individual child helps to improve the quality of life for all children – and thus – for all of us. The more positive experiences we provide for troubled children, the more likely they are to become productive citizens. Ardis values the children she serves; they sense their importance to her and thereby understand their own value. They are not throw-aways.