CASA Volunteer: Julie Brown
Despite the mother of this child struggling with addiction for most of her adult life, even during her pregnancy, the baby was surprisingly healthy at birth. The baby was experiencing drug withdrawals, and as a result had to spend time in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) at the hospital. This is where our CASA Volunteer, Julie, met mom and baby for the first time. The child had to be immediately placed into foster care until kinship care with one of the child’s relatives could be arranged. These arrangements can be difficult to coordinate, and very emotional for all involved.
Even after the birth of her child, mom was not initially engaged in the treatment to help address her addiction. But after some time, she went into a rehab treatment center in Grand Junction, CO. After a month of showing solid progress, the baby could go and stay with her. She took parenting classes to learn to care for her baby and had the chance to bond with her child.
Julie, being very passionate about the children she serves, continued to be there to support this young mom and advocate for mom and baby to be reunified. In essence be a “cheerleader” to help this mom complete her treatment so that then she and her baby could be placed into a sober living facility.
A few months later the mom decided to relocate to another sober living facility in Longmont, CO. Julie helped advocate for local resources for the mom, such as childcare arrangements. Julie kept in touch with the mom, despite the mom now not being in our jurisdiction. Granted, Julie is an exceptional CASA who takes that extra level of commitment. But this is typical of Julie.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending where the mother was ultimately reunited with her child permanently through Judge’s orders. For the most part it is because of this courageous mom who put in the hard work to improve her health and make the choice to fight for a future for her and her child. But we at Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA recognize that a small part of this “success story” is also because of the support and dedication of a CASA Volunteer that was there to help this baby be safely reunified with her mom