Affected so Young
“Carolyn” had always dreamed of being in the social work field, but her life took her in a different direction. When she heard about CASA, she saw it as a chance to pursue her dream of making a difference.
Carolyn met “Sophia” (8), “Steven” (5), and “Jeremy” (18 months) shortly after they were placed in foster care due to neglect. The three siblings were placed in homes away from each other and from two older siblings. Steven and Sophia had significant developmental challenges. They were years behind. Carolyn wondered if they had ever been taught anything. She also wondered how she was going to be able to make a difference in the lives of these children.
Eventually, Steven, Sophia, and Jeremy were placed together in a pre-adoptive home. This transition was very difficult for them. Carolyn was there for them as they struggled to become comfortable with their new surroundings. She fought for the three siblings to get additional services, like IEPs (Individual Education Programs). On one visit, Carolyn accompanied the children, with their new foster parents, to the doctor’s office. When Sophia had a meltdown, Carolyn was there to calm her down and support her through the appointment.
As months passed, the children became more and more comfortable with their new family, always greeting Carolyn with huge smiles and plenty of hugs. As of now, the three siblings are just months away from being adopted. They have settled into their new home well, and are leaps and bounds ahead of where they once were. Steven, Sophia, and Jeremy have been transformed. Carolyn says, “I was shocked by how much these children were affected so young. It’s great to see now, they’re in a home where they feel safe, they are getting love, they are getting care, and when you see them they are getting better. They have changed dramatically but there are still a lot of hurdles.”
Carolyn has hopes that soon, Steven, Sophia, and Jeremy won’t need her any more. As the children settle into their new lives, she hopes to take a big step back, and let the new family grow together. She says, “I think it would be better if they could phase me out. If the kids want to see me, if they ask about me I would go see them again, but I think that they’re in a good place now, they don’t need me. Of course you get attached, but I’m more than happy that it’s coming to an end for them.”