Advocate News


08.31.2015

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Advocate Impact - Kercida McClain

By the time Kercida McClain became their CASA volunteer, the four Howard teens had already been in care for nearly four years. Three of the four teens had also become involved with the juvenile justice system and were on probation for various charges.  For nearly two years now Kercida has advocated for safe and stable placements for her CASA kids. When she first signed on to her case Richard (17) was a runaway, Scott (15) was placed in Juvenile Detention, Amber (14) was placed in a fictive kinship home, and Thomas (12) was placed in Houston.

Kercida worked tirelessly to try and locate Richard. When she learned that he had been arrested and was being held at the Bexar County Jail, she immediately contacted his attorney so that he could be moved to Juvenile Detention. Due to her efforts, Richard was transferred to a juvenile facility where he was able to successfully complete his rehabilitation program. During his time at the juvenile facility, Kercida encouraged Richard to complete his preparation for adult living (PAL) classes so that he would be able to obtain resources and services once he aged out of foster care.

Scott was already being held at a juvenile facility when Kercida first met him. Shortly after signing on to the case, Kercida visited Scott at Juvenile Detention and was able to identify that Scott was in serious need of some educational assistance. Kercida advocated for Scott to receive additional tutoring and additional counseling services for Scott while he was incarcerated. Once Scott had completed his rehabilitation program, Kercida advocated for him to be placed in a Residential Treatment Center where he could continue to receive the educational and psychological support that he needed.

Amber had not been involved in the juvenile justice system and had been residing in a fictive kinship home for some time when Kercida began working on the case. Once Kercida became involved and began spending more time with Amber, it quickly became clear that Amber was in desperate need of educational assistance and individual counseling. Amber was quickly falling further and further behind in school. Amber’s behavior problems at school were getting worse and she was soon facing the possibility of juvenile charges herself. Kercida attended meetings with both the school administration and Juvenile Probation.

When Kercida met Thomas, he was placed in a Residential Treatment Center in Houston and had been completely isolated from his siblings and family for nearly a year. Shortly after driving to Houston to meet Thomas, he was returned to San Antonio and was facing new juvenile charges. Kercida was able to advocate for Thomas to be placed in the same facility as his brother where he could receive counseling services and reconnect with his siblings. Kercida was able to identify that Thomas was also in desperate need of additional educational support. Due in large part to her diligence and efforts Thomas was able to successfully catch up in school and is now at his appropriate grade level.

Throughout the two years that Kercida had been assigned to the Howard children she has continued to advocate for their best interest and for them to have safe, stable homes. Amber and Thomas are now placed back in the home of their father and Kercida continues to advocate for resources, services, and support for the remaining children and their family.