CASA cases may involve infants with broken bones and head injuries, toddlers living in unsanitary conditions, second graders who disclose unspeakable sexual offenses, fifth graders who have to repeat the grade due to excessive absences, pregnant junior high students who have been prostituted by their mother, and teenagers whose parents refuse to provide a stable home for them. There’s no such thing as a typical case and no such thing as a typical CASA volunteer. If you have a heart for children, can visit a child each month, and review documents about the child(ren) you are assigned, YOU to can be a CASA! CASA’s are moms and dads, business leaders, full time administrative assistants, part-time accountants, and stay-at-home moms give of their time and energies to try to ensure that the best interest of the child, no matter the history and no matter the dearth of permanency options, remains at the forefront in the minds of those involved in the cases. Please visit the following stories to learn more about the impact a CASA volunteer can have on the lives of a child and the impact a child can have on our CASA volunteers.
Please note that in order to protect the confidentiality of the children and families our CASA volunteers serve, names and photographs are not reflective of the actual children and families with which we have worked. In addition, some identifying facts may have been altered to protect the identities of the children and their families. Although the names, faces, and some facts may have changed, their stories are real and have occurred in Maury County and throughout the United States.
By the time Ruby was 6 years old, she already knew what it was like to live out of a car. When her CASA volunteer Donna visited Ruby’s grandmother’s home from which she had been removed, it was so cluttered. There was literally nowhere for Donna to sit. Donna followed Ruby through almost 2 years of foster care with the hope that she would be adopted if her parents’ rights were terminated. Unfortunately, Ruby’s foster parents decided not to adopt her when parental rights were terminated. Ruby’s third DCS worker left about the same time her foster family decided not to keep her. However, through this time of great upheaval and uncertainty for Ruby, Donna and Ruby remained connected. Donna continued to search for a loving home for Ruby. After Donna’s exhaustive search, Ruby found a loving home willing to adopt her. Ruby’s CASA volunteer Donna eagerly transported Ruby to her new adoptive home along with Ruby’s clothes and toys. Ruby has been happily adopted for two years now.
At 13-years-old, Stanley currently resides in a residential treatment facility to address his history of sexual abuse, abandonment, multiple childhood disruptions, and resulting emotional struggles. One of five children, he is the only one of his siblings who has not been adopted. Because of his siblings’ placements with other families, Stanley has lost contact with the only family he has ever truly known. Since entering state custody, he has had 8 placements, 7 schools, 4 DCS caseworkers, 8 therapists, 3 guardians ad litem, but only 1 CASA volunteer. He desperately needs a loving family committed to participating in his therapy, preparing to help him meet the challenges of adolescence, and supporting him as he reintegrates into the community. Please contact the CASA office if you or someone you know might be interested in becoming a foster or adoptive family for Stanley or another child like him.
Chris and Shirley
Having come to Maury County from Michigan by way of California, CASA Volunteer Shirley has an ability to work with even the most difficult parents. She has that rare ability to be able to tell them what they need to hear whether they like it or not. Compassionate, creative, and determined, Shirley once developed a visitation plan unlike anything the juvenile court judge had seen during his tenure on the bench. In one of her cases, she advocated for a young child Chris who had been seriously beaten by his mother’s boyfriend. Shirley picked up Chris’s favorite toy from a relative and took the toy to the hospital ICU so that Chris would have something familiar if/when he recovered from the coma. Thankfully, Chris did recover and he has now been adopted. Shirley maintains contact with Chris and his forever family.