Seventeen year old “M” was recently removed from her foster placement of two years. The teen and foster parents had been struggling with communication and curfew issues for several months. M was placed in a temporary respite foster placement and was really struggling. The respite foster parent would not allow her to unpack her stuff knowing that it would be temporary. And referred to M’s things as “clutter”. M reported to her CASA that she felt like she was unwanted everywhere and that she was living in a homeless shelter – a place to sleep at night, but nothing else. Would we want our own children treated this way? The foster mother’s treatment of her sent M quickly spiraling with feelings of depression. Her CASA jumped into action. CASA was able to call an emergency meeting with M’s team, including DCF, and make it clear that a new placement was necessary ASAP. It was a powerful experience for M, with her CASA by her side, to have a roomful of adults and professionals say to her: “We hear you. This is unacceptable. We will do everything we can to get you the placement and services you deserve.” A new placement was found that day and plans are in place for M’s move, as well as services to support her mental health and self care. Every single child in foster care needs someone in their corner to recognize when they are not getting the care they deserve and then advocate for change.

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