Teen boy taken from parents needs CASA

By The Camp Verde Journal staff

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

A Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer is needed for 16-year-old "Dillon." The Department of Child Safety removed the teen from his home, after he reported that his parents both smoke marijuana daily and that they engage in domestic violence. When Dillon tried to intervene so the parents will stop fighting, they turn their violence against him. The family has a previous history of involvement with DCS. There are no relatives able to take responsibility for Dillon's care. He has been placed in a group home out of the area.

Among the CASA volunteer's responsibilities are monitoring Dillon's ongoing progress in his group home; working with his therapist, as well as keeping up to date on any educational or medical issues he might be experiencing; working with DCS to determine whether appropriate treatment services for his parents, such as for substance abuse, parenting classes and anger management, might permit one or both parents to resume custody of their son; attending monthly meetings with Dillon, his parents and other team members involved in the case; and making recommendations to the judge as to the best long-term placement for this teen. CASA volunteers need to provide information to the court at report and review hearings throughout the life of a case.

There is a great need for CASA volunteers willing to work with teenagers. If teens such as Dillon cannot be returned to their parents, they will be permanently placed with other relatives or find a suitable adoptive home, they will remain as wards of the court until they turn 18, at which point, they "age out" of care. CASA volunteers can have a powerful impact in helping such teens become better prepared to eventually be able to live on their own.

Those 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.

This child's name has been changed to protect the identities of those involved, and this child is not eligible for adoption at this time.

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