ProKids Executive Director Tracy Cook: “Along with ProKids CASA Managers and attorneys, I have the joy of seeing CASAs’ energy, imagination, and commitment: the energy to become a CASA and take action on behalf of our children, the imagination of a better life for our children, and the commitment to see things through, no matter how difficult,” Cook said. One example: “Leslie’s leap to become a CASA and her focus on permanent homes for the children she serves.”
Since then, she has served 9 children in 4 families. One of them is a young boy we’ll call Caleb. When he was only 6, his stepbrother’s father beat him so badly, his eardrum ruptured. The blue-eyed boy and his siblings were placed with a family friend who became the children’s foster parent.
Leslie saw that Caleb thrived on the one-on-one attention he’d never had before. Thanks to the help at home, he began to catch up at school and learned to read. But he would act out and be disruptive at home and at school. Leslie made sure that he got the trauma-based therapy he needed to begin to heal.
Caleb’s biological mother is not living differently so Leslie and the ProKids advocacy team are working to achieve permanence for Caleb and his siblings as soon as possible.
Leslie supports the foster mom, making sure Caleb and his siblings get what they need in every part of their lives. Leslie says she is proud to be part of ProKids to speak up for kids like Caleb, who can’t speak for himself.
“It’s not just me,” Leslie says. Having a ProKids CASA Manager “to call on anytime and an attorney in court, that’s just huge. And that makes ProKids work.”