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01.07.2016

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Advocate Impact - Dee Aslett Made a Difference!

Dee Aslett, a CASA Volunteer, took on a case involving Lacey (4 years old) and Michael (7 months old).  These siblings were legally removed from their parents’ care due to extreme neglect.  During that time, the children were at a park with their 18 year old babysitter.  The babysitter waited around several hours for the parents to pick up their children from the park but they never showed up and so the babysitter left the children alone.  When the police arrived, Lacey was walking around with her baby brother Michael in her arms.  The parents were unable to be located and the children were tired and hungry.     

The children were placed with Michael’s paternal grandmother.  However, she was unable to take care of them for long due to her health.  The children were then moved to a foster home where they were taken excellent care of, but soon it was discovered that Michael was significantly delayed in his development with respiratory problems and a genetic blood disorder.  In addition, Lacey had speech delays and behavioral problems stemming from her abandonment and previous sexual abuse by her grandfather. 

Once assigned to the case, Dee quickly made recommendations to help the children.  She made a recommendation for Lacey to begin individual counseling in order to address the abandonment issues, history of sexual abuse, and speech therapy.  Michael had several doctor's appointments lined up for evaluations. Dee became involved with these and facilitated communication between the parties to improve his medical condition.  She also advocated for Lacey to get genetic testing to see if she had the same disorder as her brother.  Dee found out through further conversations with the mother that there was a history of blood disorders on her side of the family.  Through her role as an advocate, Dee started suspecting that Lacey’s sexual abuse may have occurred multiple times and possibly by the mother’s boyfriend.  She immediately made a recommendation for the court that all visits between the possible perpetrator and Lacey stop until an investigation was completed by ChildSafe, which is an agency that investigates child sexual abuse.  Lacey started acting out toward the biological siblings in the foster home, so Dee insisted that she receive therapy from someone specializing in sexual abuse.  Lacey’s therapist began working with her and soon after both children starting showing improvements in their psychological and physical condition.   

The case eventually went to trial and both parent’s rights were terminated since they had not completed the services that would have gotten them their children back.  They also continued to use drugs and had multiple arrests.  Although the children were not able to remain in the first foster home, Dee advocated that Lacey have the same therapist after they move to the new foster home in a new city.  Dee was the only person who communicated vital information about the children’s history to the new placement. She ensured they knew the importance of the children’s medical and therapeutic appointments being kept in order to ensure their proper development.  Eventually, both children flourished in their new placement and were adopted into their forever family.  Because of Dee’s advocacy efforts throughout the case and constant communication with all parties, the new adoptive parents are fully aware of future issues they may have to face. They are ready and willing to support these children as their forever family.

Thank you Dee for your incredible impact on these two children!

Advocate Impact - Dee Aslett Made a Difference!