Robin Smith has touched countless lives during a decade of service

This month, Robin Smith celebrated her 10th anniversary as a Court Appointed Special Advocate. Between her personal cases and cases she’s supported as a Peer Coordinator for other advocates, she’s made a difference for 17 families over the past decade.Smith and her husband are former foster parents. They have four children of their own, the youngest of whom was adopted through the foster care system.

Smith says through the foster and adoption process, “I became personally aware of the injustice of trauma and its heavy burden of impact on the vulnerable and just felt a spiritual calling to do what was within my circle of influence about it.”

That is why she’s a CASA today.

Ensuring a life of stability and healthy attachment for twin babies

Smith’s self-education about trauma, the developing brain, and attachment issues came into play on her very first case: Infant twins (a boy and a girl) were placed with a safe and stable foster family after being removed from their birth mother due to substance abuse.

During the case, the twins’ second cousins once removed were discovered in Virginia. This couple, who Smith called wonderful people, expressed interest in adopting the babies, but

“I just felt so strongly in my spirit that these babies needed to stay where they were. I really felt strongly that if we moved those babies from the placement they had been in for a year to people who were basically strangers, and broke that attachment bond they had with the foster parents, I really felt it would be detrimental to their attachment development and their whole being.”

However, Smith was the only professional on the case who believed a move to Virginia was not the best option.

When it came time to speak up and advocate, she was prepared. Having spent hours sifting through the Colorado Revised Statutes in search of the definition for “relative,” Smith found that under Colorado law, relative goes as far as first cousin when it comes to child placement. She made sure to include this in her court report which the judge read aloud before asking for a recess.

Smith knows that she makes a difference

When the judge returned to the courtroom, he ruled for the babies to stay in Colorado. They were adopted by the loving foster couple who they had been with since infancy.

“It was a huge moment of knowing I was doing what I was supposed to do. We all felt such victory and satisfaction for these children that they were going to stay where they were and have a stable, nurturing, safe place to live.”

Smith says the kids are nine years old now. She ran into the adoptive mom not that long ago and had the pleasure of seeing photos. Not only are they doing great, but their four-year-old biological sister is currently placed in their home, an experience they would not have enjoyed if not for Smith’s advocacy to keep them in Colorado.

Smith has also worked on reunification cases, and with teenagers. One memorable teen boy she worked with once told her “I will never forget that time you cried over me. Nobody has ever cried over me.” Her response was “You must always remember you are worth crying over.”

CASA is beyond grateful for our 500+ volunteers in all of our programs who go above and beyond every day to put the best interest of the child front and center. Find out more about becoming a volunteer for CASA here.