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08.05.2013

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Advocate Rosemary Chism’s Story

Visiting the four young children on her newly assigned case for the first time at a temporary shelter on Christmas Eve made the bond that Rosemary formed with them instantaneous and unbelievably strong.

Upon beginning her advocacy, Rosemary learned that the four siblings had recently been reunified with their parents following a previous placement in foster care.  This second removal came because their mother had again relapsed on drugs and was not able to meet the children’s needs.

Rosemary’s first task was to make sure that all of the children were getting therapy to address their behavioral issues.  She was able to establish a close, working relationship with the children’s therapist, which allowed her frequent, informative updates on their progress.  Additionally, she gathered information about the children from their previous and most recent Child Protective Service (CPS) files.  With thorough research, she gained a greater understanding of the family’s unique situation and was able to determine what was needed in order to move towards reunification.

Rosemary was also very concerned that the two eldest children were not enrolled in school and were academically behind.  She worked to rectify this situation, initiating conversations with the children’s previous teachers, scheduling conferences to check on their progress, and monitoring their improvement to ensure that they would not get lost in the shuffle. She was very effective at advocating for the children because of her constant communication with all parties involved.  Their therapists, doctors, and social workers knew that, if they had any concerns for the children, they could notify Rosemary and she would immediately work towards a solution.

From shelter to foster home and then back to a shelter, the children went through many transitions, increasing their anxiety, confusion, and sense of stability. Though each move was stressful, they always knew that Ms. Rosemary would come to see them and make sure that they were doing well.  Because Rosemary knew that children generally do better when placed with family members, she searched relentlessly for relatives who could take the children in and get them out of the temporary shelter.  Her efforts were unsuccessful, however, and so it was determined that the four children would again be placed in a foster home.  Sadly, neither parent was able to complete their service plan, and so their rights were terminated.  The case was then transferred to the adoption unit.

In many instances, a case like this would have resulted in the children being separated and perhaps languishing in the foster care system for many years.  Thanks in great part to Rosemary and her advocacy, however, these children’s story has a happier ending. They were recently placed together in a foster-adopt home, and Rosemary believes they have now found their forever family.

Advocate Rosemary Chism’s Story