The Children we Represent; Meet Noah
August 7, 2018 | Kalei Edenfield
Noah is a super goofy little 8 year old boy who loves superheroes, his family and making funny faces. Last year, Noah was missing a lot of school and when he would come to school he had dirty clothes and was having a hard time staying awake in class. Other students and teachers quickly realized that Noah seemed to know a lot about drugs and unsafe adult behaviors. Child Protective Services became aware of Noah and his family and he was placed into foster care because of drug use and safety concerns in the home. In just a few days, Noah, confused and upset, went to go live with a new family and started going to a new school. The new place was nice enough, with enough to eat but Noah found himself frustrated with all the changes and missing his family.
CASA Volunteer Sarah is appointed.
New CASA Volunteer Sarah meets Noah in his foster home. They decorate their own capes and begin discussing the role of a CASA volunteer and what funny robes Judges wear. Sarah continues to meet with Noah and other people in his family. Noah’s Mom and Dad miss Noah terribly and begin working towards reunification by finding stable, safe housing and entering treatment for substance abuse. Noah gets to visit with his parents every week, and CASA Sarah advocates for those visits to happen more frequently and for the family to get to go to fun places if the parents remain sober and can safely supervise Noah during visits. This seems to encourage the parents even more to work on their sobriety.
Noah and Sarah talk about Noah’s fears and things that make him happy. Sarah also advocates for Noah to begin equine therapy to address the trauma of separation from his family.
Sarah continued to advocate for Noah’s best interest in court and makes sure his perspective is heard. Thanks to support from local services, Sarah was ultimately confident in recommending that Noah got to go home to his parents who have maintained their sobriety for 8 months, secured new housing and had both found jobs.
Sarah was a consistent presence in Noah’s life for those 8 months, making sure every word was heard. Sarah was able to advocate for quicker resources for the family and her dedication to Noah lead to a safe and faster reunification.
**The Story of Noah is fictitious, but not a dramatization. There are many children in the CASA program with similar experiences and circumstances whose lives are similarly impacted by the presence of a trained CASA volunteer.