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Audra Made a Difference!

Audra Gonzalez has been a CASA Advocate since March 2013. In this particular case she has taken on, there are three children, two boys and one girl. In late 2012, the mother self-reported that she was homeless, on probation, unemployed and unable to feed or care for her kids.  The children were six, three and two at the time and all of them have a different father.  Two of the fathers are unknown and the youngest child’s father is incarcerated.   

Audra’s involvement in the case has been ongoing since the children came into care.  All of the children suffered from separation anxiety, but the oldest was hit the hardest.  He had great difficulty adjusting to all the changes and had numerous behavioral challenges.  He was diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed multiple medications.  Audra was proactive in her advocacy and recommended a reevaluation of his medications.  Due to her advocacy, it was discovered that a couple of his medications were not necessary.

The judge ordered that the children have supervised visits with their mother twice a month.   There was a two month gap in visits due to the mother’s illness which was very difficult for the children.  Audra increased her contact with the children to ensure they had constancy in their lives and a source of activities to look forward to since they could not see their mother. The children anticipated her visits and knew she would be there throughout the case.  She was in contact with the children’s schools, daycare, therapist and foster mom.  Early on in the case, the mother had not made much progress.  Upon recovery from her illness, she stepped up and worked hard to successfully complete services, secure housing, maintain stable employment and meet the goals required to have more interaction with her children. 

In February of 2014, the children were placed back with their mother on a monitored return.  Audra assisted with the transition from the foster home to mother’s home.  CPS and Audra remained involved.  After approximately a month, there was a referral made to CPS that the mother was using inappropriate, harsh language and making derogatory comments directed at the children making this a risky placement.   The children were immediately removed and were able to return to the foster home that they had been previously.  The investigation resulted in the mother being validated for emotional abuse.   

Unfortunately, the foster mother unexpectedly passed away and the children were moved to yet another home.  Audra was right by their side the whole time as they went through another traumatic experience. She ensured the new foster parents had all the necessary background information on the children and that they received bereavement counseling.  She also made sure that their new school was aware of their situation.   

Audra has been advocating for these children since she met them three years ago. She attends the court hearings and she will continue to advocate for them until permanency can be achieved.  Audra has made a huge impact on these children’s lives.  She has been a constant advocate for them for the last three years and will continue to help these children until they are no longer in the system.  Through every upheaval in their lives, Audra was there making sure they had at least one stable adult presence in their lives.