Monday, Jun 25, 2018
Samantha Morgan, the 2018 Marlene Wiske CASA Volunteer of the Year, has been on her current case for over four years. The children, a girl age 10 and a boy age 9, have been in the system for eight years. They suffered severe abuse at the hands of their mother, who was incarcerated.
Initially, the girl was often quiet, reserved, and disengaged. Now, she has found her voice and can express her emotions. She is more independent and doing things that Samantha never imagined she would, like giving a speech about a freed slave, Clara Brown, and performing in the school musical Grease. She is showing great internal strength and confidence. She is completely on track in school, and she wants to be a teacher when she grows up.
When Samantha first met the little boy, he could be very emotionally dysregulated and impulsive and had frequent outbursts of anger. Now he is more regulated and is learning to think before acting. He is kind and affectionate. He is on track in school and wants to advance belts in his karate class. He wants a family and a permanent home.
Samantha is the one stable person in the children's lives. She says they started out as strangers, and she was just another “professional” in their life. Now, they have a strong connection. She is passionate about their well-being. They invite Samantha to key events in their life and ask if she will still visit with them even after they achieve permanency.
Judge Kathy Delgado spoke highly of Samantha and the impact that she is having on a terribly difficult case. She noted Samantha’s ability to interact positively with everyone that is associated with the case, always with the best interests of the children at the center of her work.
Parental rights in the case have been terminated, but the termination is under appeal. The children just moved to their adoptive home as an at-risk placement on June 20, 2018. Samantha wants to these children to have a safe, stable, loving, nurturing, permanent home with people who will love them, protect them, and are willing to learn about and patiently parent severely traumatized children. She wants them to experience life without attachment loss and to heal. With Samantha’s support and advocacy, these two children are on the path to achieve a more normal childhood.