Penny was sworn in as an advocate in July of 2017, but waited until the following March before accepting a case. This stay at home mom took her oath seriously and wanted to make sure she could devote her time and attention to her CASA kiddos. Penny started out in a big way by taking on not one, but two cases!
The first case she accepted was already in progress, and Penny quickly learned that the CPS caseworker was petitioning to move the child from one residential treatment center to another. After diligently getting up to speed on the case, Penny could not find a valid reason why the child should be moved. She felt that this would only become one more upsetting disruption in the life of a child who had mostly lived in chaos. Penny articulated these points at the hearing, and the judge agreed. Not only did her advocacy keep the child stable, but the judge also ordered CASA as guardian ad litem at the same hearing!
On her second case, Penny had become concerned that the biological mom had stopped responding to contact attempts and had failed to show up for several visits with her children. Even so, CPS still felt that reunification was the best current outcome. Penny had misgivings about this decision and began investigating the situation. Penny interviewed the biological mom's last known employer and her landlord as well as the staff members at the daycare. Through these discussions, Penny discovered that mom had acquired a new boyfriend that was described as "rough" and someone that was not only a negative influence on mom, but also presented a danger to the kiddos. Penny notified the ad litem and CPS of her discoveries, which prompted further investigation from the department. Ultimately, the department decided that not only was the home not safe for the CASA kiddos, but also for an additional child who was also removed. Penny's advocacy resulted in the CASA kiddos remaining in their current safe placement as well as preventing further abuse to their half sibling.
Penny is a perfect example of how one person can have a significant impact. Her determination to act in the best interest of her CASA kiddos is not only ensuring their safety today, but also improving their chances for overall success in the future.
Thank you, Penny, for being a strong voice for our kiddos!