CASA July 2015 Spotlight
CASA would like to spotlight Trudie Dewey for our July outstanding Advocate. Trudie jumped right into a case that had two little girls who had first been removed from their biological mom and then were being removed from their “safety” placement for abuse.
A very short time later, the supposedly “safety” placement had their two own girls removed also….. because she had the counseling background and she was so involved with the first case, Trudie took the second case. Trudie is a counselor at Liberty ISD and has used her counseling skills & experience with all 4 children and their placements. When one of the girls has had behavioral issues, Trudie has worked with her and the placement to help with her disruptive behaviors. Trudie has spent many long hours to help assure success for these girls. She has asked questions, read reports and researched medical records and school records to help understand this girl’s diagnosis.
With a full time stressful job, Trudie has not only spent time with the girls and their placements but somehow finds the time to get CASA the Court Reports and Time Sheets required as an Advocate. CASA does not know where she finds the time but is SO appreciative of the time and dedication to her cases.
Neither case is over, the likelihood of “fierce Advocacy” for several months is certain, but we know Trudie has the passion and commitment to be the eyes and ears for the Judge and advocate for the best interest of these 4 girls.
CASA wants to give warm heartfelt THANKS to Trudie Dewey and her dedication to helping children.
CASA June 2015 Spotlight
Gracie Sellers became a CASA Advocate in November 2014. Shortly thereafter she was assigned to her first case. Gracie is the definition of a “Fierce Advocate.” She has visited with the two girls faithfully, sometimes two times a month, and has to travel a significant distance to do so. She has been instrumental in helping the kinship placement understand the complexities of the CPS proceedings. There is a language and cultural barrier and Gracie is very patient and understanding with the placement, spending extra time to make her feel comfortable with what is going on in the case.
Gracie has developed a strong bond with the children, particularly the oldest child. She has acted as a mediator between the grandmother and her fifteen year old grandchild, helping grandmother understand teenagers of today and helping the teen understand grandmother’s way of thinking based upon her age and culture.
Gracie has worked well with CPS and the AAL to ensure that “her girls” receive the absolute best care available. She has been very involved with school and counseling for her teen.
CASA of Liberty/Chambers Counties is very fortunate to have Gracie Sellers as one of our Volunteer Advocates.
CASA April 2015 Spotlight
Steve Daniele has been a dedicated CASA volunteer since May 2014. Steve’s has almost been a CASA Advocate for a year now and has been faithfully visiting with his child and making close connections.
Steve is a very busy business man but he hasn’t let that stop him from faithfully visiting with his 12 yr old boy that was first in a RTC then later moved into a foster home. The child came into care after great grandmother was unable to care for him and both parents were in jail. Steve is making a close connection with him and even had CPS bring him to a NBA Rockets game to meet Steve; the child had a great time.
The child was placed in a foster home a long way from where he was taken and Steve has offered to take the Great Grandmother to see her grandson. Steve has been in contact with Grandmother trying to find potential family that could be a forever home for him. Steve also went to the jail to talk to dad to see what his intentions were for his son. There was a court hearing and Steve is so dedicated to his child he even missed going to the Master Golf Tournament so he could advocate for his child’s best interest.
Thank you so much Steve for being there for your child and developing such a close relationship with him. You have been the only constant connection this child has had for the last year.
CASA March 2015 Spotlight
Michelle McDaniel became a Volunteer Advocate in November ,2014, and was immediately assigned her first case. Hers was a very challenging case involving three children in different locations , one about 300 miles away.
The middle child, a pre-teen girl, was especially having difficulties adjusting to life in foster care and had run away and been assaulted on the streets about the time Michelle was assigned to the case. Michelle spent hours in the hospital with this child and called upon her years as a licensed counselor to help the girl work through the most difficult of her issues.
Michelle drove many miles to make contact with the older girl,, once even on vacation, and they developed a close relationship. Michelle was kind and loving with both girls, showing them love first and then began to help them work through the issues that brought them into care. She spent tireless hours researching a good placement for the pre-teen that could address her specific issues.
Michelle also began to visit the brother in foster care. She established a relationship with him and he is beginning to let her inside the wall he had built around himself.
Michelle has gone with the CPS caseworker to take the children in this area to visit their sister in the Corpus Christie area. They even took the mom along on one of these trips.
Michelle embodies the spirit of a “fierce CASA advocate.” She is kind and compassionate. She uses her many years of experiences in dealing with troubled children to help these young people work through their problems and start down the road to recovery and a successful life.
CASA of Liberty/Chambers Counties is indeed blessed to have an advocate such as Michelle to be a beacon of hope for these 3 young people in their seemingly dark world.
CASA February 2015 Spotlight
CASA would like to spotlight in February Caroline Dean. Caroline has been an awesome CASA Advocate for thirteen months. Her first case was a precious little girl. The child is with a foster family that loves her dearly and wants to be able to adopt. Caroline has visited and supported the child in this foster placement, making sure that all her needs are being met.
In November the foster family was transferred and would need to be moved for the father’s job. Caroline was the child’s advocate in court representing the best interest of the child. Caroline advocated that the child be allowed to move with the family because she was truly a member of the family by this time. The judge granted her request. The case is waiting for trail. Caroline is in weekly contact with the family via e-mail and phone since their new home is out of the area.
Caroline’s second case began eight months into her first case. She now also advocates for a precious little boy, who she immediately fell in love with! Not only is she visiting him regularly, but is also encouraging mom to do the right thing. Caroline has had to spend lots of time on the phone checking to see if Mother’s home with her father will be appropriate for her child to return home. Caroline’s hope is that one day this precious little boy will be able to be reunited with his mom.
Caroline is an awesome dedicated advocate. Thank you so much, Caroline for your dedication and hard work so these children can have a better life.
CASA January 2015 Spotlight