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Tue, Feb. 18

CASA for Kids: 'Brad' - Feb. 2

Twelve-year-old "Brad" needs a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer. Child Protective Services (CPS) removed Brad from his mother's care because she permitted a previously abusive boyfriend to return to live in the home, and the boyfriend refused to participate in appropriate services. Brad's biological father left two years ago, and his willingness and/or ability to be a parent are not known.

Among the CASA's responsibilities: monitoring Brad's progress in his foster placement; working with his schoolteachers and guidance counselor, to help promote his education and keep abreast of the issues affecting his emotional well-being; attending monthly team meetings with Brad, his mother, his foster parents and others involved in the case; working with CPS to help determine the father's appropriateness as a parent; and making recommendations to the judge as to the best long-term placement for this pre-teen. CASA volunteers need to provide information to the court at report and review hearings throughout the life of a case.

At the present time, a great need exists for CASA volunteers willing to work with pre-teen and teen-age boys, because many volunteers prefer cases involving younger children. If teens, such as Brad, who is already 12, cannot reunite with their biological parents and no appropriate relatives are available, they often remain as wards of the court until they are 18, at which point, they "age out" of care. CASA volunteers can have a powerful impact in helping such youths become better prepared to eventually be able to live on their own.

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: The child's name has been changed to protect the identities of those involved, and this child is not eligible for adoption at this time.

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