Felicia & Noemi
Felicia and her baby sister Noemi were removed from their young mother’s home when her immaturity and inability to care for her children proved too unsafe for them. The girls were far behind in their development, and Felicia displayed aggressive behavior and had not yet begun talking. At first, the little girls went to live with relatives, but this home quickly proved unsafe as well and the children were placed with a foster family.
CASA volunteer Sue visited Noemi and Felicia in their foster home often to see how they were doing. She saw they were thriving with a foster family interested in adopting them, but she also knew how important maintaining a strong bond with their mother and their biological family was, especially early in their developmental years. “I wanted to make sure they had ties to their family history and their culture,” Sue recalls. She worked hard to preserve the girls’ relationship with their mother, but that connection proved unsuccessful. Sue was having a difficult time finding appropriate family members who could provide a good home.
Finally, a paternal cousin was found who was excited to care for the girls. After the prior disappointments, Sue wanted to ensure this would be a protective and healthy home. Sue attended the cousin’s visits with the girls in their foster home. She was very open with the cousin’s family about her concerns. Fortunately, the family was willing to go beyond what was required to show they could provide a safe and loving permanent home.
With Noemi and Felicia living with their cousin’s family, Sue stayed in close contact with them, observing positive growth for the girls during her visits. Felicia was calming her aggressive behavior and was learning to talk. Noemi glowed with all the attention she got from her new family and they were receiving support from the entire extended family. Sue felt confident this was the right home.
Sue proved a strong advocate for the best interests of Noemi and Felicia throughout the case. She knew it was in their best interest to remain connected to their biological family, if possible. “I told the judge how well-cared for Felicia and Noemi were by this warm and welcoming family,” Sue recalls. Noemi and Felicia were officially welcomed into their new family during a joyous Adoption Day celebration.
Michael, Vanessa & Darius
Michael, Vanessa and Darius love watching Dora the Explorer all together. Their mom was addicted to drugs and was having a hard time caring for Vanessa who has severe medical needs, but she loved her children very much and was working hard to get through rehab. CASA found important medical resources to help mom have support and learn how to best care for Vanessa’s needs. CASA helped mom focus on Vanessa’s doctor appointments. Now the family is happily living together. Mom is doing great and making sure that all of Vanessa’s needs are more than met!
Adrian likes Cage the Elephant (that’s a rock band) and playing the drums. Ten years ago, when Adrian’s 1st grade teacher noticed bruises on his arms and legs, he was removed from his home and never went back. He’s lived at 10 foster homes or treatment centers. CASA took Adrian to get his driver’s license, helped him open a bank account, and showed him how to file income tax forms for the very first time. Adrian will graduate from high school in May, works at Sonic Drive-In, and plans to go to ACC and become a paralegal so he can help make the legal system better.
Elly, Manny & Mia
Ella, Manny and Mia love splashing in their swimming pool on hot days. Their grandmother called CPS on their mom and they found drugs as well as guns under the couch cushions in their home. Grandmother wanted to care for the children but had to quit her full-time job since she couldn’t afford daycare. CASA was the only Spanish-speaker able to communicate with the grandmother and worked to get her licensed as a foster parent so she would have financial support and resources to care for her grandchildren. Now these children are in a safe and healthy home where their grandmother has a lot of love to share.
Jeffrey loves playing with his toy trains and cars. When he was 4, his father murdered his mother. CASA knew he needed a steady, comforting and loving home to help him recover from the trauma of losing his mom. CASA made sure he stayed with the same family the whole time he was in care. This same family adopted Jeffrey and, thanks to love and support, he is a resilient little boy.
Sierra & Laticia
Laticia likes her red shoes, swimming, and singing the Alphabet Song. Laticia and her big sister, Sierra, lost their parents when their father’s domestic violence sent him to jail and their mother to the hospital where she died. CASA immediately got bunk beds so the girls could move in with relatives. CASA ensured the girls had regular counseling and checked in on their progress throughout the year to ensure the girls were healing from their loss. Laticia and her big sister live with their aunt and uncle and four cousins who tell them how much their mother loved them.
Jamie, Daniel & Sarah
Jamie, Daniel and Sarah love to laugh and play hide-and-seek. When they lived with their mom she treated them like friends, taking them with her to bars and concerts. She didn’t want to change. CASA discovered that their dad wanted to be a good father. CASA helped him gain the skills and resources to create a good home for them. Now the kids live with their dad and are a busy and loving family.
Yvonne & Eugenia
Yvonne and Eugenia, whose parents are from Vietnam, like singing songs, playing chase, and spending time with their grandmother. When Yvonne was seriously injured in an accident while in the care of her babysitter, her parents couldn’t explain the situation since they spoke only Vietnamese. CASA found a Vietnamese speaker who helped the parents express their wish that the girls stay with their grandmother instead of a foster home. Eugenia and Yvonne’s parents addressed concerns and the children quickly returned back home.
Raphael loves to climb trees and play baseball. After his parents abandoned him, Raphael moved in with his grandparents, but they had trouble communicating with the caseworker helping them adopt him. CASA spoke Spanish with Raphael’s grandparents and helped bridge the gap so they could adopt Raphael. Now Raphael’s future is secure and he is building a tree house with his grandpa’s help.
Jenny is 13-years old and likes Taylor Swift and Twilight books. When she was 8, she and her younger siblings were taken out of their home because of long-term neglect by her family. Her siblings were soon adopted but Jenny was angry and having serious problems at school. CASA built trust with Jenny and learned from her therapist how to best respond to Jenny’s emotional needs. When a potential adoptive family was identified, CASA went with Jenny to the first visits to help her transition to this new family. Now Jenny is happily living with them and will be adopted soon.
Stories on this page are based on real life stories of CASA volunteers and youth, but names and key details have been changed to protect the confidentiality of our clients.