James (3 months old) and Sadie (2-1/2 years old) were born to developmentally disabled parents. When their father broke Sadie’s leg, the children were removed from the home and placed into foster care.
The Judge requested a CASA volunteer for James and Sadie, and Mary was assigned to their case. As she got to know the children, she found they were incredibly friendly and outgoing and loved spending time outside.
James and Sadie had five different caseworkers during their three years in foster care. But Mary remained constant. She always focused objectively on what was best for the children. To this end, she was tenacious about ensuring everyone involved in the case had the information they needed to make the best possible decisions. If the mother or foster parents had concerns, Mary shared them with the caseworker. If someone didn’t know about an upcoming meeting, she shared the information with them.
Mary was skilled at developing strong, professional relationships with everyone involved. Many people experienced difficulty working with the children’s mother – if she encountered someone who was not supportive of her, she refused to talk to them. Mary tactfully built a good relationship with the mother and was able to gather important information that others could not.
As James and Sadie headed toward adoption, Mary discovered that the father had been denying that James was his son. If this was true, it would significantly delay the children’s adoption. She immediately requested a paternity test. Fortunately, it confirmed that both children indeed belonged to the father.
James and Sadie have now been adopted by their foster parents and are safe, happy and healthy in their forever home.
NOTE: James and Sadie’s story is real, but their names and picture have been changed to protect their identities.