Thursday, May 13, 2021
Irene has been a CASA for over 11 years. Her current case involves two toddler-aged boys, who were placed in foster care after being removed from their mother's home for substance abuse. The boys had been on a similar case a year before, meaning they had spent the majority of their lives in foster care. While they fortunately were placed into the same foster home as their previous case, they still struggled to gain a sense of consistency when their mother began to miss visits and zoom calls, and Irene knew it was important to offer a consistent presence as well for the boys.
"I always try to think of them and how confusing that can be for them. I knew I would not give up on those little boys."
This took extra care given most of the case was under quarantine restrictions, but Irene stayed determined to coordinate Zoom calls and distanced in-person visits, and was able to join in for a birthday party outside for one of the boys.
"As a CASA we sometimes see how a case can be stuck and it can feel like we’re not contributing, but we have to remember we still are just by being there."
After a holding period in the case, the department was able to identify additional supports for the mom, including ones for a physical limitation that had not been identified in the past. The mom got back on track with her treatment plan and in-person visits, and a possibility for the boys to transition home is now finally in sight.
Since she came on the case last March, Irene has taken the time to not only build a relationship with the children but everyone involved on the case. She speaks often to the foster family, and stressed how important her GAL and Advocate Supervisor are to her success.
"Karen Langsley has been phenomenal, the best partner I’ve had in 11 years." She also added how her Advocate Supervisor, Chris Hanson, is a "safe place to be. She helps me be the advocate that I am."
We thank Irene for her continued advocacy and the work she has put into yet another case. Congratulations on being April's Volunteer of the Month!