JANUARY’s Advocate of the Month is:
Devra was an outstanding example of stepping up for the needs of a child and pushing through challenges in her personal life to make things happen for her child! Devra fought hard to ensure her CASA child’s best interest was not only represented in court but also that the child’s needs were met outside of court.
Devra’s child was place in a Rehabilitative Treatment Center. While in that center, the child’s grandfather passed away and she wanted to be able to attend his funeral. When the CPS approval process was taking longer than desired, the child expressed how upset she was and how concerned she was that she would not get the opportunity to say her last good byes. Devra stepped in to expedite the approval and ensure that the child would have the opportunity to attend. She made sure transportation arrangements were made and fought for her child to be able to be a part of this important family event. Being able to attend the funeral was such a major emotional relief for the child and may not have happened without Devra’s persistence.
Following the funeral, the child’s placement days were coming to an end at the rehabilitative facility. The child’s CPS/CASA team had roughly one month to identify an alternative placement option for the child. Devra continually asked “is there family that we haven’t found yet?” After requesting relatives to consider taking the child into their home and being turned down, Devra was not discouraged. Devra continued to ask what adults were still involved in the child’s life and found the mother of the child’s best friend. Devra reached out to see if she would consider caring for the child and the family accepted!
Devra advocated for the child to be able to attend the coming court hearing to express her desires to move. She also encouraged the potential placement to attend court to express her desire to take the child into her home. In the court hearing Devra gave great testimony about why the child should to be placed with this family. The judge listened and approved the placement for the child. When the child heard the judge say her wish to be moved was granted she excitedly hugged her CASA. It was such a sweet moment to witness.
Devra has proven herself to be a very kind and devoted CASA and has truly has given her child a voice. We are grateful for her persistence in pursuing what is best for her child and for her heartfelt commitment to the CASA program.