Columbia Gorge CASA helps boy obtain mental health services

by Jared Paben

"Without the CASA’s diligence and voice, this child would not now be receiving long-overdue mental health services."

Columbia Gorge CASA helps boy obtain mental health services

The Columbia Gorge CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates), which serves Hood River, Sherman and Wasco counties, recently shared with us this powerful story about how a CASA volunteer helped a young boy get the consistent, long-term mental health services he needed.

A 6-year-old boy was removed from his mother’s care two and a half years ago, along with an older and a younger brother, each with a different father.

This young child has attachment issues and a deep longing to have a permanent home but has, unfortunately, had five different foster placements – most recently he was removed from his biological father’s care due to his father’s drug-use relapse and the tag-along effects of substance abuse.

Because he has been moved several times, mental health counseling, which he desperately needs, has been sorely lacking. He’ll attend one or two counseling sessions and then he’ll be moved, and the process of finding a counselor and setting up appointment dates will begin anew.

While the CASA knows that this boy’s child welfare caseworker is overwhelmed with too many cases and families, she is trying to secure services for him. She wrote a report to the court outlining the counseling dilemma and then spoke in court to the problem, as well. During this recent hearing, the circuit court judge, who knows the case well, ordered child welfare to establish and maintain regular and ongoing mental health services for this child – a product of relentless neglect and instability and uncertainty.

Even though the judge has heard this boy’s case for two and a half years, she was unaware that the boy was in such need – without the CASA’s diligence and voice, this child would not now be receiving long-overdue mental health services.

Posted on January 23, 2014 in CASA.