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9:19 AM Mon, Nov. 19th

CASA help needed for 8-year-old 'Allison'

A CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer is needed for 8-year-old "Allison." The girl told her mother she had been sexually abused and the mother didn't believe her. Allison then told her teacher, and Child Protective Services (CPS) removed her from the home due to the mother's failure to protect her. The father lives out of town, hasn't seen Allison since she was an infant, and was not willing to take responsibility for her. No extended family members were was able to pass background checks, so Allison has been placed in a foster home.

Among the CASA volunteer's responsibilities: monitoring Allison's progress in her foster home; working with her therapist regarding her mental health issues relating to the sexual abuse and her mother's refusal to believe her; talking to her physician about any possible effects of the abuse and other matters pertaining to her physical health; meeting with her teacher to keep abreast of her educational needs; assisting CPS in working with the mother on a treatment program intended to improve her parenting skills, to determine whether Allison 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 her again; attending monthly meetings with the girl, her mother, and other team members involved in the case; and making recommendations to the judge as to the best long-term placement for Allison. 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: 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.