Jacqueline accepted this case in September, 2019, and she did so with enthusiasm about starting the journey of being a voice for her unheard child. After taking a trip to Houston to meet her kiddo, she was ready for the challenge of being a steady touchstone for a child facing the difficult prospect of being so far from family. Jacqueline learned her kiddo had an interest in astronomy, and arranged for a day trip to NASA. This outing became a basis of trust for the pair, and will no doubt be a lifelong memory.
Jacqueline's advocacy soon faced challenges. Her kiddo's foster placement began making allegations that Jacqueline was causing behavioral problems despite those same behaviors having been reported prior to Jacqueline's assignment to the case. The CASA Supervisor attempted to intervene and provide possible resolutions, however placement interpreted those suggestions as criticisms. This misunderstanding seemed to be resolved, until it was discovered that placement had been eavesdropping on conversations between Jacqueline and her kiddo. Jacqueline had naturally asked how her kiddo felt in the foster home- safe, comfortable, cared for. After hearing this, the foster parent refused to allow the child to talk to Jacqueline without the therapist present. Jacqueline refused to let this long-distance foster stop her from making contact with her kiddo. Since she was receiving so much push-back from placement, Jacqueline instead arranged to speak to her kiddo during school hours, away from the foster parent. The foster parent soon learned of these communications, and again attempted to stop contact. Jacqueline had no choice at this point but to contact the foster licensing agency to resolve this conflict. It came as no surprise that the foster parent immediately gave discharge notice, Changing placements is typically a disruption to be avoided, but in this case it was definitely in the child's best interest.
This is only a small portion of the work Jacqueline has put in on behalf of her kiddo. As of today, Jacqueline has logged 91 contacts on this case - CPS, attorneys, therapists, placement, teachers - and she is just getting started. Her CASA kiddo had an unforgettable day at NASA, but Jacqueline is the real star!
Congratulations, and thank you for all you do!