Advocacy can take myriad forms in the life of a child in foster care. When Isaac was removed from his aunt’s custody, his world was turned upside down. He feared losing his biological family and, wanting to live only with his grandmother Cassie, made clear he would refuse to live with a foster family. His CASA, Dee Ann Alongi, saw that Cassie could provide the kind of stable environment that Isaac needed, so she felt confident recommending he be placed with her. But due to an unfounded allegation of child abuse from 15 years prior, the court denied Cassie custody, and Isaac spent two long years living in a group home. Their last chance was an appeal hearing, and for Isaac to be allowed to live with her, Cassie would need to prove she was not the one who had perpetrated the abuse.
So Dee Ann helped her compile all the records she would need to defend herself point by point. And leaving nothing to chance, Dee Ann even testified on her behalf at the hearing. The judge ruled in Cassie’s favor, and Isaac, 14, now lives with Cassie permanently. His case was closed in January.