In March of 2019 Nora* came into care. A year earlier, she had come to the United States to live with an aunt, who unexpectedly passed away. As a result of her aunt’s passing, she reunited with her father for a short period of time, who was later arrested and eventually deported. As Nora had no other family in the area, she was placed in foster care. Nora had little formal education and had just started to learn English. As a result of her limited English skills and lack of education, she found herself struggling in school. The trauma she experienced, including witnessing violence in her home country, led to nightmares and acting-out behaviors in her foster home. Nora’s CASA advocated for proper educational support for Nora which included a private tutor so that she could have one-on-one intervention while she caught up to her peers in school. Through tireless advocacy, Nora’s CASA was successful in securing her an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Her CASA also ensured that her emotional needs were addressed and that Nora received home-based counseling and individual therapy to help her heal from the trauma she experienced. After the pandemic interfered with Nora’s planned return home to her home country and to her mother, the Department of Family Services began working with an aunt in California who was more than happy to be a support to her. Nora gradually established a relationship with her aunt and moved to her aunt’s home in March of last year. In her new home, Nora has family support from her aunt, uncle, and cousins, in addition to the many family members in the California area who Nora enjoys visiting on the weekends. Nora remains in regular contact with her mother as well. Today, Nora is thriving in school and incredibly happy at home with her aunt and extended family.
*Name changed to protect confidentiality