In April 2016, Gail S. was assigned to seven-year-old Adam*, after he and his siblings came into care due to issues of neglect. The children were living with relatives, but both parents were complying with the Court’s orders and making exhaustive efforts to be reunified with their children. Shortly before the December 2017 hearing, Gail learned that DHHS was recommending the children’s cases close with custody and guardianship granted to the relatives. Gail drafted an addendum to her original court report, emphasizing the parents’ progress and cooperation. Gail recommended the permanency plan remain reunification. The judge cited Gail’s report at the hearing and agreed there were no ongoing issues of neglect. It was ordered that the children return home on a trial home visit by Christmas, and the children were able to be home for the holidays, which is what the children wanted. The children were ultimately reunified with their parents.
Katherine F. is the CASA for 20-year-old Kira*. Kira came into care in 2015 when she was 17, due to allegations of sexual abuse by her stepfather, which she said had started when she was eight years old. Kira’s stepfather was arrested and charged for the allegations. Currently, Kira resides with her boyfriend and his family as she works toward independent living. Katherine has been working with Kira since August of 2017. Katherine reached out to Kira for a month with no response. Katherine did not give up on Kira and continued to push for an in-person meeting. A meeting was arranged, with the help of the social worker, for the end of September. Since then, Katherine and Kira have continued to meet weekly. They had a great relationship and Kira was able to share with Katherine what was going on in her life so Katherine could advocate for her. Katherine and Kira were able to ensure that Kira was in an independent living program and re-enrolled in college before she aged out of foster care.
Dick K. has been working with 18-year-old, Danny*, for two and a half years. Danny’s family was not able to care for him at home due to his diagnoses, which include ADHD, Disruptive Behavior Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder and Moderate Intellectual Disability. Danny is prescribed multiple medications to manage his symptoms. In September 2016, Danny was moved from a residential treatment center to a group home. A few weeks into the transition, after Danny continued to have behavior issues in his new setting, Dick discovered that Danny’s medication dosages had not been maintained. Dick reported this to the group home supervisor and Danny’s aunt, and the medication dosage was returned to its previous levels, resulting in improvement with his behaviors.
Jill G has been assigned to 18-year-old Sandra* since May 28, 2018. Sandra had expressed interest in pursuing a career in law enforcement. Jill took Sandra to visit the police training academy so Sandra could further explore this career interest. Jill helped Sandra complete and submit the academy’s application and, if accepted, Sandra plans to attend when she graduates high school.
Carol Y. has been a CASA for eight years. Recently, the youth she had been assigned to for the past three years, Cynthia*, successfully aged out of care at the age of 21. As a result of Carol’s advocacy, Cynthia left the foster care system as fully prepared to face adulthood as possible. She left care with a bank account, some savings, a full time job, a certification in nursing assistance, and stable housing.
Michelle C. has been the CASA volunteer for her 14-year-old CASA child, Miranda*, for over two years. Miranda entered the foster care system in 2016, as a result of being both sexually and physically abused. Since coming into care, her parents have not been involved and her current plan is to be adopted. Miranda’s time in foster care has not been easy. She has resided in nine different placements. One of her most recent foster homes was concerning to Michelle, who voiced her concerns to the social worker and to the Court. Miranda was subsequently moved into a new foster home, where she had remained stable for the past nine months. Her current foster mother has voiced a strong commitment to Miranda and is planning to move forward with her adoption. Miranda is now in what we hope will be her forever home.