Volunteer Profile: Linda A. Johnson

Page updated on May 12, 2010 at 12:43 PM

"With determination and support, people can overcome addiction and unemployment, creating better lives for themselves and their children."

Volunteer Advocate, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)


Q: How did you first get involved with this organization and begin volunteering?

A friend told me about her work as a Fairfax County CASA and I immediately knew that, that was what I wanted to do.

Q: Why did you choose to be a part of this particular organization?

It was really no choice as SCAN is THE organization that administers the CASA program in Alexandria and Arlington.

Q: How long have you been volunteering?

I’ve been volunteering for 9.5 years.

Q: How many hours per week or month do you volunteer?

Anywhere from 20 to 46 hours a month.

Q: What do your volunteer duties involve?

Let me back track a bit here— First, a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judge appoints a CASA to advocate for an abuse or neglected child when he/she believes it would be in the child’s best interest.  When I am appointed to a case, I (1) review the legal documents; (2) try to meet the child and parents; (3) interview the child’s teachers, caregivers, social worker, guardian ad litem, pediatrician, psychologist, etc.; (4) attend team meetings; (5) write up my findings, conclusions, and recommendations for the judge; and (6) attend court hearings.

Q: What is the best part of volunteering at this organization?

I am helping children get the education and services they need while also seeing that they are in safe—not abusive—homes.

Q: What have you learned from your volunteer experience?

With determination and support, people can overcome addiction and unemployment, creating better lives for themselves and their children.  Also, that I am very fortunate to have been raised in a secure and loving home where all my physical, emotional, and educational needs were met.  The parents and children, with whom I work, have not been so lucky. 

Q: What would you recommend for others who want to get more involved in the community through volunteer work? 

 If what I do appeals to you, become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer.  If you don’t have that much time to spend, volunteer for as little as one hour a week helping children learn to read via various after-school programs.  We now know that the number of third graders who cannot read determines how large we should build our future prisons. 

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