Irma is a recent CASA training graduate (winter 2020 class) who took her very first case this summer. The case is a CRA (Child Requiring Assistance) filing for a 15-year old girl with a history of trauma, including allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather. Despite being a new CASA and a young woman, Irma jumped right in and got to work. She began by getting to know her CASA youth, a sweet and charismatic young woman who is dedicated to her studies and has a bright future ahead of her. The CRA was expected to be dismissed by the court at the next hearing, but it was clear to Irma and the young woman that she still needed support and that it was not appropriate for her to return home, as her alleged perpetrator still had access to the home. Irma advocated vigorously with many collaterals on the young woman’s team, and along with their support, was able to persuade DCF that this young woman was in need of care and protection.
As a result of Irma’s strong advocacy, this promising young woman was able to remain in her current foster home where she feels safe and can continue to do well in school. Although permanency looks different for all youth, this young woman is now thriving in her loving and nurturing foster home. With Irma’s support the young woman will soon start trauma therapy, has found a part time job, and is succeeding in school. It is not an exaggeration to say that Irma’s advocacy and persistence in supporting the best interests of her CASA youth has literally changed the trajectory of her life. This amazing outcome is the best advertisement for Boston CASA: Irma was able to focus on the specific support that this youth needed in a way that no other collateral on the team had the opportunity to do, which led directly to this youth being able to stay on course for her own success. Welcome to Boston CASA, Irma! We are so impressed with your commitment!