The Court Calls a CASA!

By Steven Olender, Written in the style of Dr. Seuss

In the county of Travoodle,
In the Lone Springle State,
Where the hippies were dippy,
And the music played late. 

The sky was all swirlingish
And twirlingish that night.
Something in Travoodle 
Was not, not, not right. 

Percy McGrubbins was in trouble, 
His home wasn’t safe, 
He needed some help 
And some services in place.

The case was brought forth, 
Before the most honorific Judge Squibble, 
Who ruled o’er the land,
Who solved every quibble. 

The caseworker gave her case,
She told what she'd found.
“The house is too pointy, 
His tummy it makes just the hungriest sounds.

He’s missing from school
And his zoots are unzooted, 
His Mumsky and Papa are sim- 
sim- sim- simply not suited.

But they aren’t bad people, 
Just a little bit lost.
They weren’t ready to parent
Weren’t prepared for the cost.”

Judge Squibble listened close. 
She heeded the call. 
Then she tutted and flutted
And thought through it all. 

She straightened her robes
And she stood to full height. 
(And a judge looking judgish,
Is a powerful sight.) 

“We must call a CASA!”
She said with a shout,
“For each child is precious, 
No dippity-doubt.”

She picked up a pen
And she signed with a floosh. 
A CASA was called. 
She arrived with a woosh. 

The CASA was ready.
All her trainings were trained. 
Her heart was big hearted. 
Her brain was big brained. 

Judge Squibble addressed her,
As judges oft do. 
She gave responsibilities,
And doings to do. 

“You are the CASA.
His problems you seek.
Learn what he needs,
Then come back here and speak.”

So the CASA went forth, 
And she started her quest. 
She got to the problem,
And needs to be addressed. 

She met with his teachers
His family too. 
She met his doctors, his therapist,
Everyone that he knew. 

Then came the time,
And then came the place, 
For Percy McGrubbins and his CASA,
To meet eye to eye, face to face. 

“Percy, I want to help you. 
Talk to me if you please. 
For I am the CASA, 
I’ll speak for your needs.”

But Percy didn’t trust her, 
He stared hard at the ground. 
Adults were hard to trust, 
Without Mumsky and Papa around.

But that Saturday she visited, 
The next Saturday again, 
Until her visits numbered
Five, Seven, Nine, Ten. 

His heart started to warm.
He started to trust,
And all of the courage,
He could muster he did must. 

All his happies and sads,
With his CASA he shared, 
He was pleased this was someone
Who stayed and who cared. 

And every three months,
His CASA went to the court, 
And through all the problems
In his life they did sort. 

They talked about his parents. 
And how they could help there. 
To get their home to meet
Minimum sufficient levels of care. 

His CASA got him a tutor, 
To help with his math goal
And she found him a mentor
To model a positive role. 

She advocated for visits with Mumsky, 
And Papa and Grammy. 
For it's so very important,
For him to see family. 

And between the hearings, 
Percy's CASA, oh golly, did she work!
To make sure no parental responsibilities
Got lost in the murk.

She met with them regularly,
They unpointied the home, 
She got them some food assistance, 
So his tum-tum won't moan. 

And when they talked all their talking, 
They got down to the roots, 
Of why he missed school,
Why they hadn’t zooted his zoots. 

The year flew past, 
Like a flying floob bird. 
It was their last time in court. 
The last hearing to be heard.

The CASA was nervous, 
But she’d done what she could. 
She knew Percy’s best interest,
And that his future was good. 

The time came around, 
And it was CASA’s turn,
To share how they’d grown, 
All the learning they’d learned. 

She pushed up her glasses, 
To the top of her nose, 
And she stood up real tall, 
On her tip-tippity toes. 

“I am the CASA,” she bellowed.
Her manner quite far from mild. 
“And it is my duty, 
To speak for this child.

It’s been a whole year now, 
I’ve been on this case. 
I’ve sent oodles of email
And met face to face. 

Percy McGrubbin’s safety, 
Is our primary concern. 
But I’ve worked with his parents, 
And Oh, boy did they learn!

They’ve idled their I’s. 
And they’ve oodled their O’s. 
And they're oh so so ready
To help Percy grow. 

With all that I’ve seen, 
It’s clearer than crystal to me. 
That home is the best, best, best, best place
For Percy to be. 

And Judge Squibble listened. 
She heard every word. 
She smiled a smile bigger
Than a florm florble florb flurd. 

She reached for the pen, 
In her splagraciously tall hair, 
And wrote out an order, 
With excitement and flair. 

Percy would go home,
To his Mumsky and Papa.
And thus it was ended, 
The term of his CASA. 

Percy ran up and hugged her. 
He gave her no choice,
He said “Thank you for using,
Your powerful voice.”

She hugged him back,
And she said her farewell. 
Percy was home safe now. 
Oh how nifty, 
Oh how neat.
Oh how swell. 

It was real sad for Percy, 
But also real happy,
To end his time with his CASA, 
And start again with Papa and Mumsky.

And sometimes he missed her,
And she missed him too, 
But goodbyes are a thing,
Kids and their CASAs must do. 

She’d done all her doing, 
And she’d deeded her deeds, 
And it was time for her to go off, 
And speak for another kid’s needs.  

Learn more about CASA, 
And Amplificate too,
For an ideal volunteer or supporter,
Is someone like you.

Thank you to Elisabeth D. Webster/ for creating the "I Speak for this Child" illustration to accompany this story!

March Advocacy 2016

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