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Advocate Impact - Peggy Collins

CASA Volunteer, Peggy Collins was sworn in August 1, 2014 and took her first of two cases on August 4, 2014. Within 4 days of being sworn in she met the caseworker, read the case file and met with the children. This case involved three children, Haeley 9, Gabby 8, and Benjamin 7 that had been placed in an Emergency Shelter due to their Mother manufacturing and using methamphetamines in the home.  Their Father lives in Oklahoma with his girlfriend and her children. The children were moved from the Emergency Shelter to a Group Foster Home 50 miles outside of San Antonio in late August 2014. Peggy’s ability to successfully relate to the children ensured that each child felt safe and secure in their new placement.

Peggy set dates to pick the children up from their school in Nixon, Texas  and took them to eat and have their visit.  Because of the bond established between Peggy and the children, the children were always in high spirts when visiting with Peggy; sharing stories about school, their placement, their foster mom and what they hoped and dreamed for.

Peggy attended the children’s school meetings and visited with Haeley’s teachers to ensure that she was receiving 504 services for dyslexia. She also made visits to the school with the Ad Litem.

The children are now with their Father in Oklahoma on a monitored return. Peggy attempted to enlist a courtesy CASA in Ardmore, Oklahoma to help monitor the children during the summer months, however this did not occur.   Peggy therefore decided  to go visit the children herself. Peggy drove to Ardmore in June  2015 and reported, “I found everyone to be doing well … the children have adjusted and they are happy. I was satisfied that their basic needs were being met, and I was pleased to see so many other cheerful, healthy children for them to play with on the grassy playground within the complex.” Peggy has reached out to social service agencies in Ardmore to  provide additional support. 

Peggy has sought cooperative solutions for these three children. She has ensured that they received their services and followed through with all those that might take the children in when family reunification was in question.    Peggy will continue to advocate for permanency with their Father in Oklahoma. We are reminded that we must listen and advocate for what our children want, if it is appropriate, as long as the placement can provide a safe and permanent home that meets their “basic” needs even if that doesn’t look like what most of us would envision wanting for ourselves. We need to be that voice, their voice…thank you Peggy for being theirs.