6 year-old Ben had already been through a lot when Jennifer was assigned as his CASA. Placed in foster care because his parents couldn’t adequately provide for his safety, Ben exhibited a lot of behavioral issues as a result of trauma he had endured during his first years of life. Shortly after beginning work on the case, Jennifer learned that life was about to deal Ben another blow. The foster family he had been living with for 6 months, and who had planned to adopt him, was no longer a short or long term option. Ben needed a new home, and, given the intensity of his needs, there were very few options.
After speaking with her husband, Jennifer agreed to provide a temporary home to Ben until a suitable family could be found. She was taken off of the case as Ben’s CASA to avoid any conflict of interest. What was supposed to be a 6-9 month stay turned into a year and a half. During that time, Jennifer and her husband witnessed Ben make tremendous strides. He went from a child who required an Individual Education Plan along with counseling and therapy to one who participated in regular classrooms and required no special services. He excelled at sports, participating in both wrestling and basketball.
Last month, more than three years after Ben and Jennifer first met, Ben was adopted by his forever family on National Adoption Day. While she wasn’t able to attend Ben’s adoption ceremony, she was with him in spirit. “There is something really special about seeing a case through from beginning to end, and witnessing the positive changes that happen for the child,” said Jennifer, who is looking forward to meeting with her Supervisor to take on another case.