September 30, 2020
CASA volunteer’s focus on family leads to kinship adoption
Shaun* was removed from his parents and placed in foster care nearly 10 years ago, when he was six. His four younger siblings were each adopted within several months of their parents’ rights being terminated. Shaun exhibited challenging behaviors and was placed in a residential treatment center several hundred miles away.
At this point, Shaun was appointed a CASA volunteer. Holly worked with the court to obtain an order for Shawn to return to Austin, his hometown, once a month for a sibling visit. The CASA program facilitated these visits, and Shaun was able to maintain his relationship with his brothers and sisters.
After years of residential treatment, two failed adoptive placements and multiple psychiatric hospital stays, Holly was able to find and re-engage Shaun’s maternal aunt, uncle and grandfather. Holly helped facilitate visits with these family members. She worked with child protective services and local churches to raise money for a deposit on an apartment—the only thing missing before Shaun’s grandfather could qualify as a relative placement.
The fundraising efforts were successful, and after Shaun went to live with his grandfather, Holly continued to support Shaun by helping him successfully transition to a traditional public school. She also worked with his siblings’ adoptive families to help them become open to contact with the children’s biological family members.
After years in limbo, and with the help of a caring advocate, Shaun was adopted by his grandfather last year.