Larkin: The Family Man
Number of years as a CASA: <1
Number of years in the community: 10
If Larkin was described in three words, his title would be simple and sweet: A Family Man. Larkin has been married for thirty-six years, and he enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife and two grown boys. He and his family moved eighteen times during the duration of his twenty-one-year service in the Army, but the constant changes did not wear down Larkin’s spirit of adventure.
Today, Larkin continues to stay on the move by keeping busy working at Texas A&M as a Project Manager, attending Lakeway Church, working out daily (when he’s not injured) by biking or swimming, traveling, and meeting weekly with his ‘Sunday Night Supper Club’ for dinner and ice-cream. As future grandad, Larkin states that he, “doesn’t feel old yet,” but he jokes that he does feel pained sometimes by the age-old tradition of watching Aggie football (although for the most part, he enjoys it).
Skills Needed to Be a Voice for CASA:
- Passion- You need to care. Caring is the foundational thing. If you don’t care, you’re not going to want to do the work. You don’t necessarily need skills per say; Just make sure you have the passion to help somebody above all else.
- Discretion- You have to be able to conceal private information and remain professional.
- Non-judgemental– Separate the problems you see from the service you are providing. Ask yourself, “How can I best serve this family and these children without judging the why?”
- Competent Communicator– It helps to be a good listener and be able to talk to anyone in varying situations
The Most Rewarding Part about Being a CASA:
Seeing a relationship grow with the children is incredibly rewarding. As a CASA, you are the only individual that is consistently looking out for them. They have many other services in contact with them, but the CASA is the only person who is consistently there for them without change, and that is a really special role to have.
Advice for anyone considering becoming a CASA:
Just do it. Don’t worry about, “Oh I may not be good enough or I may not be able to make a difference.” Once you do it, stay committed. Don’t be afraid to just jump in there.
What surprised Larkin about being a CASA:
That every case is absolutely unique, so how much time you must dedicate and what needs (emotional vs. basic) that you are catering towards just depends on the case.
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