Karen McClelland has been on her case for three years. She has a strong relationship with the boys, her team, and foster mom. Within the past few months, with adoption on the horizon, the oldest boy has been struggling with this idea. He has been acting out at school and at the home, running away, and doing almost anything he can to be removed in the hopes that he can live with his parents (parental rights relinquished this past year). His placement for 2.5 years was hesitant on keeping placement of him and adopting him, as she does not want him to feel forced into this adoption. Karen has been the foster mom’s rock, resource, and advocate since these issues began. Karen checks in with foster mom frequently to make sure things are going okay and her needs are being met. When they aren’t, she sends emails out to the team, their supervisors, and is tenacious at getting a response. Most recently, Karen worked on completing an 1184 referral to address the current issues on this case, with the sole purpose to retain placement and ensure foster mom is heard and feels supported. If it weren’t for Karen’s collaboration and dedication to service for the foster mom and the boys, they may have lost placement a while ago. Because of this CASA, the boys still have a chance to be adopted!
Katy Gonzalez was sworn in in March 2021 and took over for a CASA who had been on the case for over 2 ½ years. When Katy accepted the case, the youth ran from her placement the day before she was scheduled to meet with her. Since that time the youth has been on the run, in DCYC, or in an out of state facility. Throughout this time Katy has diligently continued to reach out to the youth through phone calls, Zoom sessions, and emails. Up until this past month, the youth has refused to talk to Katy, and to this day Katy has not met her face-to-face. Within the past month, the youth has been open to talking to Katy and the two have begun to build a relationship. Due to never giving up, Katy has been able to talk to the youth about her current status and what the youth wanted. Katy had a hearing on December 21st, and because of this CASA, the youth had a voice in court.