Originally Published: June 14, 2015 7:19 p.m.
A CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer is needed to serve as a "Baby CASA" for 2-year-old "Sophia" and her one-year-old sister, "Tanya." The babies were removed from their parents' care by the Department of Child Safety (DCS) due to domestic violence in the home, including in the presence of the children. In addition, the father is suffering from untreated mental health issues, and the mother has a history of substance abuse, with Tanya having been born substance-exposed. The babies have been placed with family friends.
Among the Baby CASA volunteer's responsibilities: Monitoring the progress of Sophia and Tanya in their current home; working with their pediatrician and other healthcare specialists to ensure that they receive services for age-appropriate developmental milestones; following up on DCS's efforts to work with their parents on treatment services, including for anger management, as well as the father's mental illness and the mother's substance abuse issues, to determine whether one or both of them might be able to be reunited with their little girls; participating in monthly meetings with the parents, friends caring for Sophia and Tanya, and other team members to discuss the babies' progress; working with DCS to try to determine whether the friends might be able to help the parents in their reunification efforts or in possibly adopting the children if neither parent can successfully complete treatment services; and making recommendations to the judge as to the best long-term placement for these babies. 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: 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.