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Advocate Impact:  Williams Family Story

This case came to the attention of Child Protective Services (CPS) because of a domestic violence issue. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was called because one of the four children received scrapes and a deep cut during an altercation in the home.  As the technicians were examining the child, they noticed one of the siblings in a play pen.  Joseph was frail and lethargic; and, at six years old, he weighed only 22 pounds.  The other three children - Luke, Amy and Susie - also had some type of injuries, all of which were either new or healing from weeks past.  All four of the siblings were being fed very little and were going without baths or beds.

The judge overseeing the case immediately assigned CASA, and Jan Brown contacted each of the children the day she signed on to be their Advocate.  Joseph was admitted to the hospital for treatment and was in severe pain brought about by his long and forced stays in the play pen. His legs were severely bent and had not been properly extended or exercised.  The medical team also found thread in his system; he was so hungry that he had been literally eating his blanket. 

Joseph’s siblings were placed together in a foster home and immediately began to gain weight. They were, however, clearly traumatized.

For nearly a month, Jan visited Joseph as the hospital on a daily basis.  She attended medical staffings to ensure he received all the care he deserved. Jan also began asking about Joseph’s upcoming placement.  She was told that he was ready to be moved, but CPS could not find a place for him.  Two weeks passed, and he remained in the hospital.  When Jan contacted the CPS placement team, she learned that the caseworker had erroneously reported Joseph’s condition; so, the home they were searching for would be inadequately equipped to accommodate his severe medical issues and use of a wheelchair.   Upon informing them that Joseph actually needed to be in a more therapeutic setting, she was told that would result in an even longer delay. After many calls to homes she had worked with in the past, Jan was able to find a very suitable and appropriate placement for Joseph.  He was moved immediately; and, today, he is doing incredibly better. 

Following suitable placement for Joseph, Jan was able to focus more on the needs of the other siblings.  Luke, who experienced excessive trauma to his head, is at risk of developmental delays if he does not receive the proper medical attention.  Although the current foster parent believes that Luke is “fine the way he is, Jan is in the process of meeting with a neurologist to determine a proper plan of care.  She is advocating for treatment and will continue to push until Luke gets what he needs.

Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) is now working with the younger children since they are all delayed.  Some are completely non-verbal, and their social skills are limited.  While the children’s current needs are being met, their parents are not allowed visits due to the severity of this case.  In addition, the judge has ruled that a final trial will be held at the four-month mark to determine parental rights moving forward.

It is Jan Brown’s diligence that has helped to ensure that these children get the services they need.  Her perseverance and determination have been demonstrated multiple times throughout these first two months of being on this case.  Her advocacy has made an enduring difference in the lives of these children, as well as the 50 others that she has served in her eight years as a CASA volunteer.

Advocate Impact:  Williams Family Story