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Sat, Jan. 18

CASA for Kids: 'Ellen, Florence and Danny'

A CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer is needed for 9-year-old "Ellen," her 8-year-old sister, "Florence," and her 6-year-old brother, "Danny." Child Protective Services (CPS) removed the children from their parents' care due to a long history of substance abuse and multiple reports of domestic violence, many of these incidents occurring in front of the children. In addition, the mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was not taking her prescribed medications on a regular basis. The mother left the family for a period of time and the father told law enforcement authorities that he was too intoxicated to care for the children.

Among the CASA volunteer's responsibilities: monitoring the children's ongoing progress in their foster home; working with their therapist, physicians and teachers, to keep abreast of their physical and mental health issues, as well as their education; working with CPS to determine whether either or both parents might be willing and able to participate in appropriate services (including substance abuse treatment, anger management and mental health treatment) so that they could be reunited with their children; working with CPS to determine whether other relatives might be available to provide support for the parents' efforts to resume care for their children or guardianship for the children, if necessary; attending monthly meetings with the children, parents and other team members involved in the case; and making recommendations to the judge as to the best long-term placement for these children. 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 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.

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