Meet 13-year-old Kate.
I am so tired of her being drunk! Today is my little brother’s birthday and we’re having a party for him at Rebounderz, with all his school friends and our family, but there’s mom — a stumbling, slurring mess! So embarrassing. People are staring and I didn’t want her to drive us here. So, I couldn’t take it anymore. I called Child Protective Services on her myself! I know this will be the third time for our family, but I don’t care. I’m so tired of picking up all her pieces and being a parent for my brother. I can’t do everything on my own — I just started high school and am trying to hold it together. I mean, I’m only 13. My mom needs help. My dad’s in jail for selling drugs. My grandma lives way too far. How can I make life better for my brother and me? I need help!
Meet 9-year-old Rachel.
I remember this place — I was little, but I remember — it was big and scary and I had to talk with someone they called a judge. After, mommy and daddy said we had to leave the place fast. Problem is, we left my big brother Patrick, who was in foster care, behind. When I ask mommy about him, she says he’s living with my aunt. I wanted to see him, but she said we couldn’t go back to New Jersey then. Later, when we did come back, I was so happy! I thought I would see Patrick again. But no, that didn’t happen. Daddy wasn’t with us anymore and mommy was always sticking needles inside her and then sleeping a lot. One day, mommy, my little brother and me were at Mc Donald’s when the police came. They took me and my brother to the hospital and mommy was arrested for taking us away in the beginning. Now we only see her once in a while and we live in a stranger’s house. But I’m finally getting to go to school! What’s not fun here is that the adults made me go to the dentist. I didn’t like that! I wonder where Patrick is all the time and why doesn’t anyone tell me or talk about him. I really miss my big brother.
Meet 11-year-old Miles.
Ever since I was born I’ve been in and out of foster care. I’m 11 now. The social workers take me and always say it’s because of neglect. My mom’s a drug addict and can sometimes go a little crazy. I’ve lived in shelters, with my grandparents, in foster homes and too many apartments to count. My little brother lives with mom, though. She doesn’t go to any doctor appointments and doesn’t always come to visit me when she’s supposed to. One day I searched for her on Facebook and I saw she seems to be living a great life, bragging about how she is engaged now and buying a house. I want her to be happy and better, but I really wish she’d think about me — just once.
Meet 6-year-old Lily.
Mommy was scared, running around the house yelling at my 3-year-old brother and me that we had to leave fast! She took us to a place with other families and they had a room for us. But daddy called and I could hear him yelling through the phone. Mommy said she was sorry but we had to go back home. When we got there, daddy was so angry, yelling at Mommy until police came. Daddy grabbed my brother and me and brought us upstairs, screaming at my mom: “Don’t let them in.” The police broke down the door — it was so loud and scary! My brother and I were crying and daddy took us out the window onto the fire escape. We were so high up in the air. Daddy was screaming at the police, telling them they couldn’t take us. A policeman came onto the fire escape with us and before I knew it, they grabbed me and my brother and put us in a police car. As we drove away, the lady driving said, “It’s going to be alright.” I kept saying that to my little brother to calm him down, but is it really going to be ok?
Meet 16-year-old Annamaria.
When I was 14 mama told me I was going to America to live with my sister Ana, who went to America when I was very young. I asked mama if she would be taking me but she said no, that the coyotes will travel with me. I didn’t understand that. We lived in Mexico, why couldn’t mama just take me to America? It took about a month of traveling with these strange men and women, crawling through dirt, hiding, not having much to eat or drink, but I finally made it to Ana! I got to go to an American school and I helped take care of my niece and nephew. But things weren’t always good. Ana’s boyfriend kept grabbing me or sometimes he’d grab himself and say nasty things. I told my sister but she just called me a liar. When he wouldn’t stop I told Ana again, but she told me to stop flirting or they’d send me back to Mexico! It was getting so bad. I was tired of it being my fault and, one day, I just didn’t want to go home. So I told my teacher and then a social worker told me I didn’t have to go back. My sister was so mad. She called me, yelling and screaming. Now, I can never go back there. I’m so alone.
Folks right in your community step up to become a CASA volunteer.
Others in your community step up financially so those volunteers can keep on advocating.
So ... how will YOU make a difference?