Olivia was just two months old when she was removed from her mother, who tested positive for drugs and alcohol.
She was tiny and was diagnosed quickly with failure to thrive. Pat, a CASA Volunteer with specialized training through the ProKids Building Blocks program, made sure Olivia got the services she needed as soon as possible
The list was comprehensive: medical care and physical therapy when her legs couldn’t support her for walking; speech therapy for Olivia’s delays; intervention services for identifying other obstacles; and, as Olivia got older, therapeutic preschools as she struggled with her anger and frustration.
Olivia began to catch up. But there were other challenges. Her mother wasn’t getting the services she needed. Olivia would scream through the visits at the Family Nurturing Center and – when she could talk – referred to her mother as “the downtown lady.”
Pat advocated for Olivia. The visits had to stop. Olivia needed a forever family.
The little girl will continue to need help as she matures. But since this past August, she is growing up in a forever family. Her foster family adopted her with a joyful court hearing and a celebration at LaRosa’s.
Pat could advocate so well for Olivia because she asked the right questions and met with everyone, including difficult family members. Unflustered by the challenges, Pat said she was thrilled when Olivia became part of a safe, secure family four years after they’d first met.
“That’s what drew me to ProKids,” Pat said. “Prokids saves children.”
As a CASA Volunteer in the Building Blocks program, Pat has shown how to advocate for nurturing relationships, for developing bonds that are so necessary for our tiniest children.
We share stories of our children so that our community can understand why ProKids depends on a mobilized community. We change the names of the children, and often of the adults involved, and use stock photos out of respect for their dignity and privacy. The stories themselves, however, are true.