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01.26.2017

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Advocate Impact: MJ Duet

Mary Jane Duet “MJ” has been the CASA on her case for nearly four years. The case originally had seven children on it, but happy endings have slowly been found for five of the children.  MJ, during the case, visited the children at four separate placements monthly.  She made sure that the children were happy and in a safe, stable, and adoptive setting.   MJ was the constant until adoption day for the five children who have been adopted.

MJ hasn’t given up on finding those same happy endings for the remaining two children, Eli (9 years old) and Robert (8 years old).  MJ has continued to be that fierce voice for them at each step along the way.   She has advocated for their wellbeing, even if it has meant going against the odds and recommendations of others involved.  Her case has been one that has been heard by both Judge Garcia in Children’s Court and Judge Sakai in District Court.  Both judges have highly supported CASA’s recommendations and suggested that all parties involved take them into consideration.

MJ knows the children so well, she has effortlessly searched for appropriate placements, has attended countless special education meetings, and has even become “Room Parent” for Eli’s classroom even when it was uncertain if Eli would even be returning to that school.

There have been multiple challenges along the way. For example, Eli recently was discharged from NIX Behavioral Hospital. MJ visited frequently and became familiar with staff there. She ensured medication reviews took place accordingly, ensured he was provided bed side educational services consistently, and advocated for Eli to receive an appropriate psychological diagnosis.

MJ has also located family out of state for Robert to have contact with and support from. She has made sure his placement in a Residential Treatment Center has been successful. Robert had been to more than four placements in the last year.  Robert at the moment is stable, safe, and happy to have been reconnected with his “Auntie”.

Although these children have not found their forever home, and continue to be in long term foster care, MJ’s tireless efforts have ensured that they are receiving all possible appropriate services and support. Eli and Robert are not alone. They have a fearless, constant, and enduring voice that will continue to advocate on their behalf!  Thank you MJ Duet!

Our volunteers provide a voice for the abused and neglected children in San Antonio. If you are looking for a rewarding volunteer experience, and are interested in becoming a CASA, you can find out more information on our website, linked here.

Advocate Impact: MJ Duet