From Miralda Altamirano:
Charlie (not her real name), was a 1-year-old at the time she was detained from her parents due to neglect and substance abuse. CASA, Lucy, attended meetings, court hearings, and completed and submitted timely reports to the Court to keep the Court informed of Charlie’s situation. At one point Charlie was allowed to go home with her parents, and during this time her parents gave birth to her baby brother, Chris (not his real name).
As happens with many cases, due to poor choices and unfortunate circumstances, the parents were not able to achieve stability for their family and Charlie and Chris were again removed from the care of their parents to be placed in yet another resource home. As they were being detained, Chris and Charlie were extremely upset. Because Lucy had maintained a good working relationship with the county social worker, and the social worker was aware of the friendship between Lucy and the children, the social worker immediately contacted Lucy and asked if she could come help calm the children, which she did. Lucy was able to remain with the children as they met their new resource parents.
Lucy continues to visit Chris and Charlie weekly in their new resource home, where improvements continue to be seen. Charlie and Chris are now 4-years-old and 2-years-old. They have had a long journey of ups and downs but through it all, they continue to have a CASA volunteer in their lives. Currently, the children are placed in an adoptive home with resource parents who have been supportive of the children and also supportive of the relationship between Lucy and the children.
This case has resulted in a safe, supportive placement for two children in resource care due to the consistent advocacy and outreach of our CASA volunteer. Lucy continuously supported the caretakers of the children, whether it was the parents or the resource parents. Lucy was able to accurately convey her observations with factual reports to the Court. She was able to identify and reach out to community agencies for additional support for the family, whether helping to enroll Charlie in school or reaching out to CWS to ensure that the children were connected to needed services.
The CASA volunteer did not just reach out to the 0-5 Advocate Coordinator, but also reached out to the social workers assigned to the case, family resources out in the community, schools, therapists, and anyone who was willing and able to provide support for the children. The communication with the caretakers was always there, making it possible to support the children in the best way possible. A CASA story does not always end with the children and parents living “happily ever after.” Our goal, however, is to ensure our foster children have access to the resources they need, are safe and well cared for, and never alone in their circumstances. Lucy and countless CASA’s across the Nation, including Tulare County, work incredibly hard to do everything they can to provide this care.