Fairfax CASA Success Story

In May 2022, Fairfax CASA received a Preliminary Protective Order (PPO) case involving a three-year-old girl and a one-year-old boy.  The mother was pregnant and gave birth to another boy in June 2022.  The mother had significant mental health concerns that had an impact on her ability to safely care for her children, so the court ordered her out of the family home.  Over the course of the almost two years the family was involved with the child welfare system, the father took over full-time caregiving for the three children, all under four years old, in addition to working full-time.  Initially, the mother struggled to engage in her mental health services; however, she eventually engaged in services and began consistently attending her therapy and medication management appointments.  Over time, her mental health stabilized, and she was allowed to return home to her husband and children.

Throughout the case, the CASA was a cheerleader for the father and the mother because she knew that it was in the children’s best interests to have healthy parents. When the CASA attended supervised family visits, she could see how the children and father adored and missed the mother.  The CASA took every opportunity to encourage, support, and praise the father for all he was doing to care for and meet the needs of his children as a single parent, and she made a point to communicate regularly with the mother and encourage her to continue with her mental health treatment, attend visits with the children,  and not lose faith that she could return home to her family.  The CASA also helped advocate for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for the oldest child, daycare for all three children, and home-based services for the family. 

In February 2024, the court granted the Department’s motion to end protective supervision and closed the case.  Afterward, many of the professionals that worked with the family over the course of the case, including two Protection and Preservation Services (PPS) Specialists and the CASA, had a little celebration with the parents and children.  The CASA shared that the mother expressed to everyone her appreciation for the level of care and services she had been provided and said that the interventions were life changing for her.  The CASA said that the family was especially happy to see one of the former PPS Specialists with whom they had established a close trust and bond.  

In describing the current PPS Specialist, the CASA said: “She is the most diligent, caring, and kindest specialist I’ve worked with so far. I refer to her as ‘The Closer.’ She got everything buttoned up with a big red bow on top prior to this case closing, and in a short amount of time. As far as I can tell, nothing has been left undone and she has ensured that the family is set up for success.”  

The CASA went on to say: “We made a great team. I’ll never ever forget this family and how proud I am of them. And it was my first case and such the perfect fit. I was able to build trust with the family and the team, and it was important for me to be respected and have a voice to influence decisions throughout the case.  I am so thankful in so many ways! I wish I could quit my real job and be a CASA full time!” 

The CASA sent the PPS specialist’s supervisor an email, commending her hard work.  The PPS Specialist replied back to the CASA and said, “The truth is though I never would have been able to do any of this without you. From the beginning you have been a wealth of knowledge on the family and the history and were beyond supportive and patient to me as I pieced together what was going on with the family.  It’s very evident that the whole family cares deeply about you and trusts you and you have been a tireless advocate and warm support for the family. I now need you on all my other cases! You are a true example of what CASA means and how they help families.”