Why a CASA Really Matters

Posted on October 7th, 2015

twin-gifts-03At just six months of age, the state placed twins “Jason” and “James” in foster care because of domestic violence, substance abuse and the unsanitary living conditions in their parents’ home.

Becky, a trained CASA volunteer (Court Appointed Special Advocate) with United Way supported Child Advocates, was assigned to the twins’ case. Acting as the court’s eyes and ears, CASAs closely monitor each child’s situation and ensure their needs are met. CASAs act as fact-finders, providing the judge with information gathered from court documents, social workers’ files, educational, medical and therapy records, and their own firsthand observations. They meet with family members, school officials, health care providers and other professionals involved in the child’s life. The CASA is often the only consistent adult presence in a foster child’s life, the one person a child can truly count on who is not paid to oversee their welfare.

For the two years James and Jason were in foster care, Becky was a regular presence in their lives, monitoring their progress, making sure their medical and educational needs were being met and maintaining regular communication between all team members on the case. She observed the parents’ visits and supported their desire to maintain an active role in their sons’ lives.

Although services were extended to the parents to help them maintain employment, obtain suitable housing, stay sober and improve their parenting skills, neither was able to successfully overcome their personal barriers in order to provide a safe environment for their children. Becky was instrumental in finding the perfect adoptive placement for the twins. She interviewed prospects, fighting to place the boys in Marion County in an adoptive home that would allow continued contact with their biological parents.

The boys are now thriving in a stable and loving permanent home and continue to see their biological parents. Their former foster mother, whom they grew to love during the two years they were in the system, provides them with day care. Child Advocates and CASA volunteer Becky helped the twins through a very confusing and scary time, making sure their best interests were always at the forefront.