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Thu, Dec. 12

CASA Kid of the Month: 'Maggie'

A CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer is needed for 8-year-old "Maggie." Child Protective Services (CPS) took custody of the girl due to the mental health issues of both parents, as well as the father's illegal drug and alcohol abuse. The father would often leave Maggie in the care of friends and relatives in order to use drugs. Most recently, the mother, who refuses to take medication, attempted to commit suicide in front of Maggie and her father. Maggie is currently living in a foster home.

Among the CASA volunteer's responsibilities: monitoring Maggie's progress in her foster home; working with her therapist regarding any mental health issues she may be experiencing, particularly relating to witnessing her mother's suicide attempt; talking to her physician and teachers to keep abreast of her medical and educational needs; attending monthly meetings with Maggie, her parents, and other team members involved in the case; working with the parents to determine whether appropriate services, such as treatment for their mental health problems and the father's addiction issues, might result in one or both of them being able to resume care for Maggie; working with CPS to help identify any relatives who would be able to take custody of Maggie and/or help the parents in their reunification efforts; and making recommendations to the judge as to the best long-term placement for this child. 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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