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Advocate Impact - Beth Roberts

Beth Roberts has been a CASA advocate since November 2015. She took her first case immediately and it included two young children. The children originally came into foster care due to domestic violence.  The family was given the opportunity to work services through family based services but were ultimately unsuccessful and the state had to step in and legally remove the children. At the time of removal the children were severely developmentally delayed as well as severely malnourished.

Beth immediately began assessing the case. She attended all parent/child visits with the mom and all medical appointments for the children. She noticed immediately that these children had significant delays. The oldest child was 20 months at the time and he did not speak.  He walked on his tip toes and this caused him to have great difficulty walking.  He did not have the ability to run. He was evaluated by his pediatrician, and due to the severity of his delay, it was recommended that he receive occupational therapy twice a week.  His insurance provider did not agree with the recommendation and the frequency of the therapy was denied. Beth saw how important occupational therapy was for this child and advocated for this at court and with the caseworker. After much persistence on Beth’s part it was finally approved.  He would receive occupational therapy twice a week. Beth also advocated for bilateral orthotic braces to correct his feet and he was able to get his braces within a few weeks.

The youngest child was 9 months old at the time of removal and was severely delayed as well. He was also very underweight and malnourished and had gross motor and speech delays. His recommendation for occupational therapy was also initially denied but with Beth’s voice – it was approved.

The Court ordered CPS to complete a home study on a paternal uncle and it came back approved.  The children were subsequently placed in this home despite some concerns voiced by the advocate.  Beth continued to make regular visits to ensure that the children were adjusting well to their new placement and that all of their needs were being met.  After a few months, Beth noticed a regression in both boys.  She immediately reported her concerns to the other parties on the case but the consensus was that the boys were still adjusting to the new placement.  Beth saw the boys almost weekly to make sure their services were being completed. She noticed the boys were no longer smiling or laughing and seemed very jaded. Beth became more concerned about the boys.

Approximately one month later, Beth was notified by the placement that one of the boys was no longer able to walk and appeared to be in pain.  Beth urged the caregiver to take the child to a doctor to be checked out.  When the child was evaluated it was found he had a fractured femur and a fractured elbow. He was also dehydrated. A referral was called in and CPS began an investigation. The other child was brought in the following day for evaluation and it was determined that he had a sprained ankle and had a brace put on his leg as well. The kids were immediately removed from the kinship placement and placed into a shelter.

Had it not been for Beth’s vigilance throughout the case, these children may have remained in an abusive home and not received the occupational services that they desperately need.  Beth was there to speak up for these boys and she will continue to advocate for them and the services that they need. She continues to be their strong voice and the constant person in the lives of the children.