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Advocate Impact - Ed Olson

CASA Advocate Ed Olson’s first case consisted of a sibling group of three (ages 5, 11, and 14).  Mr. Olson hit the ground running visiting his CASA children and gathering facts. The children were initially placed together at St. Jude’s Ranch in Bulverde, Texas. Despite the distance, Mr. Olson was able to visit with them a few of times a month and take them on outings in the community. A short time after being signed on to the case, his oldest CASA child was moved from his group home and away from his siblings due to behaviors and refusal to go to school. He was subsequently moved on five separate occasions in a six week time period due to his anger and school refusals, including a hospitalization. Mr. Olson visited the child quickly after every move, including the hospital, and even drove to placements to ensure the child had all of his belongings. Due to Mr. Olson, the child was able to maintain a sense of familiarity and constancy despite the frequent changes in his life. 

Mr. Olson also assisted in sibling visits during this time to ensure family connections were maintained. The child was eventually able to be placed in a foster home where he could be joined with his siblings. The child continued to have behavioral issues and problems in school and at one point his placement gave notice in on him to be removed. Mr. Olson drove to the foster home immediately to have a conversation with the foster parents about the importance of stability for the child and the amount of disruptions in his life in such a short period of time. The foster home agreed to give the child another chance and this is where all three children remained until case closure. Without Mr. Olson’s commitment and belief in his CASA child, it is likely the child would have continued to be moved multiple times and might not have reached a point of stability which allowed him to be reunified with his biological mother.

Mr. Olson advocated not only for placement stability, but also in the school system. He immediately met with the teachers and counselors for all three CASA children. Because of his consistency in his advocacy efforts, he was able to get an ARD meeting scheduled timely for two of his children to ensure they received consistency in their education. He also communicated regularly with the therapist for the children and ensured family counseling began to help with a successful reunification. The children were eventually reunified with their biological mother. During this time, Mr. Olson continued to maintain his role as their advocate and was a great support for family. In addition to all of the support services he was able to help get started for the children, Mr. Olson also maintain communication with the biological mother and did so with compassion and non-judgment. 

From the start, Mr. Olson proved to have the ability to connect with his CASA children and communicate with parties effectively as if he were a veteran advocate. Not only did he communicate all facts once received with his CASA supervisor but he also was sure to include the CPS worker and the child’s attorney. He was proactive in gathering information and ensured all services for the family were maintained despite the instability the children experienced. If ever a concern arose on his case, he immediately alerted all parties and began problem solving right away. He has a keen ability to keep the child’s needs and their best interest in mind. 

We are grateful for Mr. Olson’s dedication and commitment to the CASA children on his case and are truly blessed to have Mr. Olson as an advocate!   

Advocate Impact - Ed Olson