Children in need awaiting someone to speak for them

In less than a year, the little girl lived in five foster homes, getting used to five different sets of foster parents, plus attorneys and social workers. But one adult remained the same.

Paul Fisherkeller visited her at least once per month, talking about how school was going, how she was fitting in at each new home and how she was feeling. As a volunteer for the county’s court-appointed special advocate, or CASA, program, Fisherkeller’s job is to represent children’s interests in court cases, such as neglect and abuse cases, custody disputes or criminal cases involving their parents.

He first met the girl in 2011 after she was removed from her parents’ home. She wanted to go back home, and bouncing among foster homes was stressful. His job was to relay that message to the court and help find a way to make that happen. About a year later, the court case was closed, and the girl was allowed to go back home to be with her family.

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