Good things come to those who wait. A phrase said around the world with no clear origins, but is continuously relevant in the world of CASA. In this success story, one CASA volunteer worked with a family for three and a half years to help bring positive change and reunite the family.
No case is ever easy, but the nerves of a CASA are always higher during their first case. This CASA’s first case involved a family of six – four children and two parents with significant, long-term substance abuse. With the four children separated across the state, none staying in the local area, this CASA volunteer persisted to not only advocate for each child, but to repair a broken home.
In the case, the four children were raised in a two parent household. However, this two parent household was not the picturesque American dream. The case landed into the Division of Family and Children Services due to substance abuse, domestic violence and child neglect. Notably, the children were not taken care of physically and there was questioning over the children’s true biological father. Lots of children, multiple placements and abuse crafted a messy, heart wrenching case from the start.
Admittedly, many cases are bumpy and it’s hard to see a resolution because of all the problems. However, the father made the first breakthrough in this case. He began a drug treatment program. Throughout his program, he received an abundance of family support leading him to doing well in his program. Although the parents did eventually separate, the separation diffused the influence of substance abuse and domestic violence and brought the children closer to permanency
For a while, the mother struggled with stability – possibly due to her own trauma and life situations. But her story does not end there. After giving birth to her 5th child, this mom was able to make a change. Whether it be an influence, epiphany or the urge to be there for her five children, the mother pulls it together. She found living arrangements, obtained a job and began positively parenting her new child. She then began her visitation, visiting each of the four children twice a month at their respective placement as well as their schools.
Throughout the case, the eldest children displayed behavioral issues. The oldest child felt anger towards the mother by refusing visits. How could the issue be rectified? Through effort on all ends. The children need proof from mom, dad and their CASA that someone would be there for them. Today, the family is doing great. The father graduated from the treatment program with everyone, including their CASA, in attendance. The children’s bond with their CASA shined as they embraced her at the graduation.
What helped this family? Parents learning how to positively parent and meeting the needs of their children while CASA sees the case through to the end with continuous support.
Can you commit to being the voice for a child? Fill out an application to be a CASA today!