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Thu, Sept. 19

CASA help needed for 11-year-old 'Darren'

A CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer is needed for 11-year-old "Darren." Child Protective Services (CPS) removed the boy from his mother's home because she repeatedly left him in the care of his grandmother, who was extremely physically abusive to him. CPS had warned the mother on two prior occasions not to leave Darren with the grandmother. When the mother continued to do so, he was removed due to her failure to protect him. The whereabouts of the father are not known and no extended family members were willing to take responsibility for Darren's care.

Among the CASA volunteer's responsibilities: monitoring Darren's progress in his foster home; working with his therapist regarding his mental health issues relating to the abuse; talking to his physician about any possible effects of the abuse and other matters pertaining to his physical health; meeting with his teachers to keep abreast of his educational needs; assisting CPS in working with the mother on a treatment program intended to improve her parenting skills, to determine whether Darren might be returned to her care; helping CPS identify and work with a potential adoptive family if the mother is not able to care for him again; attending monthly meetings with the boy, his mother, and other team members involved in the case; and making recommendations to the judge as to the best long-term placement for Darren. 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: This 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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