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Drugs and violence put kids in CASA need

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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A Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer is needed to serve as a Baby CASA for 3-year-old "Felix" and his infant sister, "Echo." The Department of Child Safety removed the children from their mother's care following an incident of domestic violence, during which the mother was hitting and throwing things at her live-in boyfriend in the presence of her children. One of the objects hit the wall and nearly struck Echo in her playpen. The police were called, and the mother was arrested on assault charges. In addition, the police found drugs and paraphernalia within reach of Felix. No local family members were available to care for the children, so they have been placed with a family friend.

Among the Baby CASA volunteer's responsibilities are monitoring the progress of Felix and Echo in their new home; working with their pediatrician and other health care specialists to ensure that they receive services for age-appropriate developmental milestones; following up on DCS' efforts to work with their mother, when she is released from jail, on treatment services, including for anger management and substance abuse, to determine whether she might be able to be reunited with her children; participating in monthly meetings with the mother, friends currently caring for the children, and other team members to discuss the progress of Felix and Echo; working with DCS to try to determine whether the current caretaking family might be interested in adopting the children if reunification efforts are not successful, or whether out-of-town relatives might be available to take responsibility for the children; and making recommendations to the judge as to the best long-term placement for Felix and Echo.

CASA volunteers need to provide information to the court at report and review hearings throughout the life of a case.

Those who are interested in becoming a CASA volunteer for this case or a similar one, and making a difference in the life of a child, are asked to contact the CASA office at 554-8903.

These children s names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved, and these children are not eligible for adoption at this time.

Copyright 2015 The Camp Verde Journal, Camp Verde, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: August 26, 2015

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