Finding a Safe Permanent Home
- December 13, 2016
- Posted by: swebadmin
- Category: Community Corner
Nikki was sworn in as a Child Advocates San Antonio (CASA) Advocate and was assigned to two young children, one a first grader and the other in kindergarten. They had come to live with their paternal grandparents after Child Protective Services took custody of them due to parental drug abuse and neglect.
While she methodically assessed the needs of the children, Nikki also developed trusting relationships with the parents, grandparents and children during a time when they were all adjusting to the changes.
When she noticed that one child, “Peter,” appeared to have a speech delay, Nikki reviewed his educational records and learned that past teachers had recommended a speech evaluation but there was no follow up. Nikki brought this to the attention of the court and a speech evaluation was ordered, resulting in much needed speech therapy for the child.
Nikki also began reading to Peter and encouraging his grandparents to do so, as well. All of these efforts resulted in a significant improvement in his speech.
Assisting the grandparents in getting the children medical appointments for immunizations, eye glasses, and mental health care, Nikki also encouraged both parents to address their drug habits and to use the resources made available to them.
Nikki’s interventions helped the family more effectively meet the needs of the children. The father eventually made so much progress by getting a job and staying clean that Nikki advocated for his joining his children at the grandparent’s home. After seeing the father’s life changes, his commitment and bond with his children, and ensuring his clean drug tests, Nikki advocated for his children to be returned to him.
The judge agreed with her recommendation, and the boys continue to live in a safe, permanent home with their father.
Child Advocates San Antonio (CASA), a United Way nonprofit agency, works to recruit, train, and supervise court-appointed volunteer Advocates who provide constancy for abused and neglected children and youth while advocating for services and placement in safe and permanent homes.