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Advocate Impact - Mary Jane Duet

Mary Jane Duet “MJ” has been the CASA on her case for nearly four years. What started as a seven child case, has now dwindled down to two children. Eli and Robert are nine and eight years old.  The boys have been in separate foster homes for the past 2 years because a therapist deemed it appropriate for Eli to not be placed with his siblings earlier in the life of this case.  Eli does not have a bond or any desire to form a bond with his siblings.

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.  The four boys as a sibling group and the girl separately.  These children were adopted by non-relatives.

As for Eli and Robert, MJ has continued to be that fierce voice for them at each Permanency Hearing. 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 in to consideration.

MJ knows the children so well, she has effortlessly searched for appropriate placements, has attended countless ARD 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 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!

Advocate Impact - Mary Jane Duet