One of our fabulous CASAs, Suzanne, has been working with her kiddo, a fourteen-year-old girl we’ll call *Mel, since last July and has come to be a great support for her. Through the last ten months Mel has run from multiple STARR and Residential programs following her removal from her grandparents’ home due to abuse by an uncle living in the home. She then advocated for a family friend to become a kinship placement which disrupted following a suicide attempt, spent several weeks in a hospital level of care placement, and has repeatedly gone on the run and been missing for weeks at a time. Mel often will respond to Suzanne to let her know she’s safe when she’s on the run and consistently connects with her when she is back home or in a placement. During the last visit Suzanne had with Mel in person, Mel asked to print out some pictures from her phone, one of her with her CASA.
Concerningly, Mel ran away from the program she was in shortly before schools closed and was gone for long enough that her bed was closed. When she was located, she was returned to her grandparents’ home, as DCF had nowhere for her to go, but that quickly fell apart. After a very hard a scary night Mel, again, went to the family of a school friend who agreed to let her stay and help connect her with services. She has been there for a little more than two weeks. Her CASA and the mother have been able to communicate and get her connected with a counselor and working with the school. When the supervisor connected with Suzanne to find out how things were today, she shared: They seem pretty good and hoped she wouldn’t jinx it! Mel has a distance learning plan, got a chrome book, likes (kind of) the therapist, she got a market basket gift card and did a family shop, DCF did a home visit (the on-going worker was there) and the family cleaned and got ready ahead of time. It sounds like it went okay! The last thing Mel shared was that she put a picture of her CASA hanging above her bed😊. On the surface all seems good, and the CASA is hoping it lasts…..