CASAs are often among the few consistent adult influences in a child’s life, and the support and encouragement they provide can be invaluable to the child in his or her time in the dependency system and the years after it.

Sam Herod was Justin’s CASA for two years beginning when Justin was 16 and provided the guidance Justin needed as he was aging out of foster care. Besides helping Justin navigate the financial resources and other services available to him, he encouraged Justin to pursue his love of food and connected him with the RightWay Foundation, a nonprofit that provides job placement for transitional age youth.

This helped Justin get a position as a sous chef at a café downtown. And when he isn’t working that job, he and Sam work catering jobs together.