If there was a theme to Cathy Larson’s retirement, one might say it was community service. The retired IT Project Manager finds plenty of ways to give back… that’s for sure.
One of those ways is by monitoring and documenting observations during child-parent visits in CASA’s Supervised Exchange and Parenting Time (SEPT) Program – a job she’s been doing consistently since she first came on board as a CASA volunteer in April of 2019.
When there is a court order in place for visits to be supervised, volunteers like Cathy are the ones that make it possible for kids to develop and maintain positive relationships with their non-custodial parents.
Cathy says she appreciates the parents who are trying hard to be who they need to be for their kids.
“What I see is parents continuing to want to come and be with their child and be as loving as they can be with their child and stay as loving as they can be with them,” she said. “I think they truly enjoy the hour. I think that hour is very short for them but they do their best to make the most of it.”
Visits take place in CASA’s Family Visitation Center downstairs. There is a play room with toys for all ages and a kitchen where families can share meals together. Cathy enjoys witnessing the joy on the faces of both children and parents when they interact, and she considers herself a partner in their progress.
“If there were not volunteers, the families could not visit,” she said. “I like people and I want to give people the opportunity to succeed and if they’re willing to be here and to follow the rules, I’m willing to be here to partner with them.”
Cathy also volunteers as a Rocking Grandma at Fort Carson’s Nurture Center and as a tutor for the Children’s Literacy Center.