A Family's Story


Many of the cases we see in the court system involved abuse or neglect which is generational in nature.  CASA volunteers work with many children whose parents were also part of the child welfare system as youths.  The abuse and neglect continues on for many of these families resulting in yet even more serious abuse/neglect situations for the children.

A CASA volunteer, Ann, was assigned to such a case.  Ann is a mother who has 2 young children and she works in the medical field.  Ann was assigned to 4 children (ages 4 months to 6) who had been often left alone, were undernourished and the apartment in which they resided was dirty and unsafe. Their mother was very young and these 4 children had been removed from her care.  The mother demonstrated no ability to protect her children from a culture of substance abuse and neglect.

The CASA volunteer's priority was the protection and best interest of these 4 precious children but she saw something in the mother that indicated that maybe this young woman could overcome this cycle of generational neglect and become a good mother.  The mother was overwhelmed and had no support, no family.  Ann became a role model for the mother, made suggestions and participated closely when the children visited their mother. Ann answered questions about everything a mom has to do for her children, she demonstrated ways to hold a baby, ways to feed a child, talk to their  teachers and  even how to  comfort a crying child. The everyday skills many of us take for granted were new skills for this mother. The CASA volunteer took books to the visits and read to the children, and the mother just watched. Eventually the mother sat down and listened to the stories, saying no one had ever read to her when she was little, that she never owned a book. After over a year of working with the children they were returned to the mother's care. The mother had much help from many community services (such as alcohol treatment, parenting classes, GED classes, counseling) to get back on her feet but she said much of her success came from the CASA volunteer because Ann believed in her and clearly cared so much about her young children and their futures. The children are returned home now.  They are living in a small, tidy apartment, the children are healthy and doing well.  The CASA volunteer is still visiting and happy to report the positive changes in the children's lives.  Ann said now it's her turn to watch both the mother and children's faces light up during story time. We love happy endings for children and know the CASA volunteer played an important part of this success story.