About Us: Success Stories




Success Stories

Children

Center Stage
My heart is heavy when I realize this is his life. If this were my life, I don’t know if I could sit in a room full of people I see once or a few times a year as they determine my fate. He jokingly pokes me. I poke him back and whisper for him to behave. I can tell he’s nervous. Everyone is reviewing reports and giving updates (or a lack of) and I catch a glimpse of him not paying attention. I whisper, “This is your life. You have a voice. Use it.” He shrugs his shoulders and whispers back, “It doesn’t matter.” Quickly, I get the attention of everyone in the room and state my concerns and provide insight of what is in my child’s best interests. Their looks of surprise surprise me. Graciously, the moderator asks him to share his thoughts. He is now center stage. Notes are taken. Instead of talking about him, they are talking to him. He is real. He exists. He is my child and yours until he finds a forever home.

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Foster Parent Praises CASA Volunteer
My two foster kids had literally no one. Their mom was in rehab. Their fathers had never been in the picture. Their Grandparents were either deceased or in nursing homes. Their only uncle had died too young. Their best hope for permanency was their mom, but staying clean is always a challenge. “These kids can use as many people in their corner as they can get,” I thought after I learned all the facts of their case. Lucky for them — and for me — that they had a wonderful CASA volunteer, Lisa, who stayed beside these children for over a year as their case dragged on. She became my sounding board, the one I called to bounce around ideas with and to laugh or cry with. With her level head and caring heart, Lisa advocated to keep this family together. Because of her, my foster kids are back with their mom — who remains drug free -- and their two other siblings. And Lisa is now a permanent part of their story — and of mine.

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CASA Volunteer Pivotal in Siblings Being Placed Together
Kara and Dana, and their older brother Rudi, were placed in foster care due to their mother’s instability and drug use. Originally, the siblings were placed in foster care together, but because of their dysfunctional upbringing, they were separated. When Rudi turned 17, he refused to remain in foster care, and the court found it more feasible to release him from foster care. Kara and Dana remained in separate foster homes. The sisters were assigned to CASA of the Augusta Judicial Circuit. Each month, when their CASA volunteer would propose for the siblings to interact more, one foster mother refused to comply. The CASA volunteer expressed to the court concerns for the siblings and that the foster home may not be appropriate to support their best interests, and recommended visits and counseling for the sisters. Kara and Dana were finally placed together because of the work of their CASA volunteer. Both siblings thrived in the home, in school and in the community. They continued to have a very strong relationship with their CASA volunteer, and in 2015, after five years in care, the foster mother obtained guardianship of both girls. Dana will be graduating from high school with plans to attend college. Kara continues to be an A student, participates in JROTC, basketball and soccer, and has plans to graduate from high school, attend college and major in pre-med. The siblings still remain in contact with their brother, who is now in the military, married and has a child of his own.

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Julie* Finds Forever Home at 16 Years of Age
CASA volunteer Gwen had been assigned to two siblings who were adopted two years after she began advocating for them. A few months after the adoption, the adoptive family decided they could not deal any longer with one of the siblings, Julie*. Julie was then placed back in foster care. Gwen never gave up on this fragile, devastated child. She continued to advocate for her best interests, ensuring Julie still saw her sister, received tutoring for her special educational needs and was involved in age appropriate extracurricular activities.
Gwen was the only person Julie would share with about the truth of her unhappiness in her foster home. Throughout dealing with Julie’s foster home issues, Gwen communicated with the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) and the foster parents in a clear, assertive and respectful manner, while never giving up. She consistently kept looking for new approaches to meet Julie’s needs, including advocating for a permanent home. When Julie was rejected by an adoption agency, Gwen diligently investigated and uncovered that Julie’s psychological and child life history had been strongly influenced by her foster mother’s negative depiction of her. After months of Gwen’s persistent advocacy with DFCS and Julie’s psychologist, the adoption agency documents were redone and the agency accepted Julie. Soon after, a suitable adoptive home was found for Julie. After nearly six years in foster care, she was adopted at age 16 into her forever home!

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*Names have been changed for confidentiality reasons