An Anonymous Story Illustrating why a CASA Matters
The day before I turned 16, my family brought in two boys out of the Foster Care system. They were biological brothers, ages 4 and 6.
Although they had a CASA appointed to them while they were in my home, I never understood the impact the CASA had on their case until my mother explained to me how they came into care:
My little brothers were both born meth-positive. Throughout their short lives, they were tossed from foster home to foster home until eventually their biological father was tracked down and they began to live with him.
The daycare soon reported that the boys were exhibiting inappropriate behavior, particularly toward the female population at the daycare.
Since Social Workers are required by law to schedule any home visit they have, the Social Worker never reported any inappropriate activity going on in the home to explain the boys behaviors, and due to the boys ages (approximately 2 and 4), they were not able to properly communicate anything to alarm the Social Worker.
While the Social Worker on my brother’s case was not able to pinpoint the problem behind their behaviors, the boys' CASA did an unannounced home visit.
She knocked on the door and my 4 year old brother answered. Straight ahead she could see a play pin set up in the kitchen where my 2 year old brother was placed. It was the first time she had seen him without his shirt on and he was obviously emaciated. While she viewed him, he was reaching up to the kitchen counter, grabbing the butt’s of cigarettes on the countertops and eating them.
Growing more concerned and curious, the CASA heard some noises from the living room and walked in to find their biological father passed out on the couch surrounded by beer with child pornography playing on the TV in the living room.
One phone call later, and my little brothers were removed from their father’s care and, shortly after, placed into ours.
CASA’s save lives. There is a reason Judges give them special permissions the Department of Health and Welfare does not - it’s because there needs to be more supervision in these children’s lives.
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