Dear CASA DC Family, CASA for Children of DC is angered and heartbroken over Wednesday’s actions against our city and our country. DC is our home, our place of work, and that of our children and families. As we all take time to process what has occurred, please know that we are here for you. If you feel that you are in need of additional support, please reach out to your CASA supervisor. Please also actively make space to be there for your youth. We are encouraging safety and support at this time.
How can you best support youth during this volatile moment?
We are asking all volunteers to reach out to your youth, to ensure their well-being, and to give them space to process and talk about what is happening. Ask how they are doing and how they are feeling. See if they have any questions - and if you don’t know the answer - that’s okay. Collective processing, collective unknowing, can help show youth that they are not alone. Looking for ways to start the conversation? Try: "I am feeling very emotional about what happened yesterday. What are your thoughts?" "What do you think about what happened yesterday?" "I know many people are really impacted by yesterday's events. I'm here to talk if you want.” "Just checking in. I know this is a hard and emotional time. Thinking of you." The following are terrific resources on how to talk to youth during traumatic times: When Bad Things Are Happening What to Say to Kids when the News is Scary Caring for Students in the Wake of a Traumatic News Event
It is also vital to recognize that this event is yet another example of disproportionate and inequitable treatment towards Black lives and the white supremacy inherent in our country. Be aware of these issues, and serve as a safe space for your youth if they feel the need to talk about this. Mayor Muriel Bowser has declared a Public Emergency through January 21st. As the city faces the ongoing risk of violent demonstrations, CASA DC is strongly advising virtual-only engagement with youth during this time, for your safety and theirs. Please ensure that youth are aware of any citywide curfews as they are implemented, and advise that they avoid the Downtown area wherever possible.
Thank you for your dedication and your service. We are in this together and we are ever grateful for your work.
Arika Orozco Executive Director