CASA of Liberty-Chambers Counties Reflects National Adoption Month
November is National Adoption Month, and Liberty / Chambers Counties CASA celebrates and supports the many families in our community who have welcomed a child into their home through adoption, with a special focus on adoption. by relatives.
âAs advocates for the best interests of children in foster care, at CASA we have seen ‘family’ take many forms. All loving families are beautiful, âsaid Kimberly Stephens, executive director of CASA of Liberty / Chambers Counties.
âWhen we think of foster care adoption, a lot of us think of it in terms of non-parent adoption. What many don’t realize, however, is that it’s also quite common for a child to be adopted by or live with a parent or family friend, âStephens explained.
âOften times when a child cannot return home safely with their parents, then their grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members step in to take care of them. This is known in the system as âparentage care,â Stephens said. âIn some cases, children may even live with family friends, coaches, teachers or mentors, known as ‘fictitious parents’. Keeping children with people they know is what CASA volunteers and system professionals strive to do, as it helps them stay in touch with their community and loved ones.
Take this story of twin brothers DaShaun and Micah, and their grandmother Mabel.
DaShaun and Micah moved to foster homes four times in the past year, and they needed stability. One day, DaShaun and Micah told their CASA volunteer Daniel about memories with their grandmother Mabel. Daniel shared this with the others about the boys’ case, and they were able to locate and contact her. She was relieved to know the boys were safe and indicated that she would gladly take care of them. DaShaun and Micah were able to move in with Grandma Mabel. They are happy to be back in a familiar home with their families and to begin the healing process.
A few months later, the twins were officially adopted by their grandmother. After years of investing, Micah and DaShaun are finally in a safe, caring, and lifelong home with someone they know and love, and who loves them unconditionally.
Although some details have been fictionalized, this story is based on real life situations of children in foster care, their families and their CASA volunteers.
CASA volunteers are ordinary citizens of the community who are selected and trained, and appointed by a judge to defend the best interests of a child in court. They work in conjunction with professionals on the child’s case, including the social worker, lawyers and others. Their top priority is to advocate for the child to be reunited with his parents whenever it is safe and possible. When that is not an option, they advocate for the child to live and be adopted by other family members or friends, or with a caring adoptive family.
âThis month, we take the time to show our appreciation for the various families in our community who are caring for and raising children they have adopted into foster care,â Stephens said. âThank you for giving them a safe, permanent and unconditional home where they can heal and grow! “
For more information on the work of CASA volunteers and to get involved, visit www.casalctx.org or call Melanie Cotten at 409 781-8035. The next training / information session is every Thursday at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.