Originally Published: March 1, 2015 7:02 p.m.
A CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer is needed for 11-year-old "Elizabeth" and her 8-year-old sister, "Donna."
The Division of Child Safety (DCS) removed the girls from their home due to the parents' severe neglect of their medical and educational needs. Elizabeth has an ongoing medical condition and, due to lack of follow-up, this has been worsening. Neither child attends school regularly, and they have fallen significantly behind their classmates. Both parents abuse alcohol and methamphetamines, and may also have mental health issues. There are no known relatives available to care for the girls, so they have been placed in a foster home.
Among the CASA volunteer's responsibilities: monitoring the progress of Elizabeth and Donna in their foster home; working with their therapist regarding any mental health issues they may be experiencing; keeping up-to-date on their medical and educational problems; attending monthly meetings with the girls, their foster parents, their biological parents and other team members involved in the case; following up on DCS's efforts to determine whether their parents can successfully participate in treatment services, such as for substance abuse, mental health issues and parenting classes, so that one or both of them could resume care for their daughters; working with DCS to locate relatives who might be able to support the parents in their reunification efforts or provide guardianship for the girls; and making recommendations to the judge as to the best long-term placement for Elizabeth and Donna. CASA volunteers need to provide information to the court at report and review hearings throughout the life of a case.
If you are interested in becoming a CASA volunteer for this case or a similar one, and making a difference in the life of a child, please contact the CASA office at 928-771-3165.
EDITOR'S NOTE: These children's names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved, and these children are not eligible for adoption at this time.