Friday, Sep 24, 2021
Skyler (10) and Dayton (7) were entering a whole new world; new homes, new families, new schools, new everything. Removed from their mother due to her overwhelming drug addiction, Skyler and Dayton found themselves separated from everything they knew and surrounded by strangers in the foster care system.
But they wouldn’t be alone for long. Just a few short months after the two entered foster care, the Judge assigned CASA volunteer, Erica, to work on the case. Erica would be an advocate for Skyler and Dayton. Someone they could lean on and trust to speak up for their best interests throughout their time in care.
Life in foster care wasn’t easy for the children. Separated from each other, they often felt alone. Their behaviors made things difficult for the families they were living with, and because of this they were moved frequently. Skyler saw a total of seven homes throughout her time in care, and Dayton saw four. Having the constant of a CASA volunteer was life changing for them both.
Erica worked closely with the kid’s mom, Alice, throughout her two year journey to sobriety. In the beginning Alice was resistant to the idea of getting help. She was not taking any steps towards reunification with her children and was very close to having her parental rights terminated. Then something inside of her changed. Alice loved her children and decided that she would do anything she could to get them back. With a lot of work and dedication, Alice was able to achieve her goal. The family is now reunited and thriving as a unit.
Erica describes the turnaround and reunification as incredible, saying “This family made some of the most drastic changes I have ever seen. I didn’t think we would be where we are. Mom worked incredibly hard to get her kids back. I am so proud of her. Skyler and Dayton continue to work through their trauma and behaviors and have seen great success in their recovery.”
Bridging the divide between foster care and reunification can be both challenging and rewarding. More CASA volunteers, like Erica, are needed to advocate for children who enter the child welfare system to help ensure they have the best opportunity to thrive. Will you help?