CASA Success Story: Marie and Annie

casa0Marie*, a dedicated CASA advocate, has been assigned to Annie*, a young lady who will soon be 18 years old. Marie began advocating for Annie in 2008 when she was 10. She had been removed from her home because of the drug addiction of both parents and the abuse and neglect she experienced. Marie has shared in Annie’s challenges, celebrations, and often had to travel long distances to visit her when she was placed in foster homes out of the county.

Annie had two other CASA advocates assigned to her before Marie. The first advocate was assigned to her when her case originally came under the jurisdiction of the court in 2004 and closed in June of 2006. Annie’s case was reopened in September, 2006, and she was then assigned her second CASA Advocate.

Since childhood, Annie struggled with severe behavioral problems and continually missed significant periods of school. Since 2004 she experienced over 16 changes in her foster placement sites. Most of the placement sites were in therapeutic group home settings where she could be provided a higher level of care due to her behavioral problems.

In May 2015, Annie was asked to leave the foster group home due to her challenging behavior, and she was moved back to San Luis Obispo County. During that same year Annie disappeared for a period of time and was thought to have been abducted by another foster youth’s parent who fled with both minors. Fortunately through an FBI investigation Annie was found safely in another state and returned to San Luis Obispo County.

Through each move and during the time Annie was missing, Marie followed up on her school progress and her academic credits. Marie made phone calls to all her schools so that Annie’s school credits would follow her to the next school. One of Annie’s biggest struggles was that she had no desire to participate in school. Upon her return to San Luis Obispo County, Marie met weekly with Annie and encouraged her to focus on her education. She was later astonished to hear from Annie that she was enjoying her community school and had turned a corner in her attitude about school.

Currently, Annie is placed in a Transitional Housing Placement Program (THPP). With Marie’s help, she is engaged in her schooling and has caught up with her school credits and will graduate in June. In addition, she has been able to maintain a part-time job with a local fast food restaurant and loves her co-workers and managers. She is thriving in her home, her work, and in school. During Marie’s time advocating for Annie she was always there for her. Even during her times of struggle, Annie was able to communicate with Marie and share her hopes and dreams. They always looked forward to meeting with each other. Through all of the ups and downs Marie never gave up on Annie, and now Annie’s future is bright!

(* Names have been changed to ensure confidentiality)

Big Brothers Big Sisters Success Story

Big Brother Kyle and Little Brother Alvin

  • Little Brother Alvin almost didn’t get accepted to the program because of his behavior problems. He had a history of lying, stealing, and damaging property.
  • Kyle, a retired probation officer, was up for the challenge. He knew how important it could be for Alvin to turn his life around while he still had a chance.
  • Kyle was the first person to set high expectations for Alvin, and the first adult male who showed interest in Alvin’s thoughts and feelings.
  • With Kyle’s help, Alvin discovered he loved reading mysteries and ghost stories. Together, they visited state parks and history museums.  Kyle taught Alvin how to fish, build a fence, and play guitar.

Three legged race

*Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the identity of both the child and volunteer