Katie* was eight years old and living with her grandmother when she was placed under the protection of the juvenile court due to severe neglect. She had been shuffled between many friends and relatives after her mother died from a drug overdose when Katie was just five years old. Most of the friends and relatives who had put a roof over Katie’s head had criminal histories and drug abuse problems.
When Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer Janice Smith* first met Katie, her academic performance was suffering and she was withdrawn and quiet. It was Janice who sat in the library with Katie as she completed her projects, who helped with homework, and who made sure that Katie received extra help in the classroom. Janice also made sure that Katie was seen by a pediatrician, and that she attended counseling sessions with a licensed therapist.
Two years after Janice received the case, Katie’s grandmother, the person Katie was closest to, was diagnosed with cancer. Katie helped care for her grandmother until she died. Katie was then rotated through several different foster placements, often with little notice and less time to say goodbye to her foster families. Once, after Janice had arrived at Katie’s new placement, Katie confessed that she was worried she would get lost in all of the moves and that Janice would not be able to find her. “What if they move me to Nipomo?” Katie asked. Janice replied, “Even if they move you to China, I will find you. You will never be lost.”
Katie's CASA volunteer made all the difference in her life and gave her a chance to move past the difficulties she faced with a caring adult by her side. Please make a donation and / or consider becoming a volunteer today.