THE November ADVOCATE OF THE MONTH IS:
November ushers in a season of thanksgiving and gratitude. At CASA, we are certainly thankful for our amazing advocates who pour into the lives of the families they serve. We would like to spotlight one of these remarkable people as the November Advocate of the Month. Lois Stehlik has been an advocate for six years and is currently serving on a case with a baby boy. Lois faithfully visits her kiddo every month and stays in communication with his caregiver, his caseworker, and his ad Litem.
Recently, this little guy was returned to his mother earlier than expected or recommended. Lois immediately contacted his mom and requested a time to visit. She was given many excuses to delay the meeting, but Lois persisted. Her tenacity paid off. Five days after the reunification of mother and son, Lois and her CASA companion visited the residence. What they found was heartbreaking and frightening. The tiny camper had no running water, the yard was littered with debris that was dangerous for a little one beginning to walk, and the only food was a sleeve of crackers and spoiled milk. The child was found dirty, covered in bites, and lethargic. Lois sent her companion outside to take pictures while she continued to visit and assess the situation.
Once Lois left the residence, she called her CASA supervisor to report her concerns. It was decided that CPS should be notified and provided the pictures as evidence. CPS and law enforcement visited the home late that night and determined that the child should be removed and returned to his previous caregiver (a family member). Without a doubt, Lois’s perseverance and determination to check on this baby saved his life. Thankfully, this little sweetheart quickly returned to his healthy, happy self!
In a month focused on giving thanks, we thank God for Lois and advocates like her who give so generously of their time and their HEARTS to help the most vulnerable in our society.