From Foster Care to College:
After finishing her CASA volunteer training, Diane got a case of an 8 year old girl who had just been placed in foster care because of abuse and neglect. Diane felt ready, but a little scared to come into the life of a child that she had never met. She went to Danielle's foster home where Danielle had no clothes, no toys, and nothing that was familiar to her. She was a victim, and Diane decided to become the adult that stood up for her and her rights. They went on a short outing that first day and Danielle was nervous. So nervous, in fact, that she got an upset stomach. But... they bonded. Danielle was anxious about how soon Diane would visit her again and how long she would be around since she had already had so many people in and out of her life such as social workers, attorneys and foster parents. Diane explained that she was a volunteer, who wanted to get to know Danielle, and she would come to see Danielle every week for as long as she wanted Diane to visit. Diane also explained that she would visit Danielle's last foster home and pick up her clothes and toys so she could be more comfortable in her present home. Danielle grinned widely at this news.
Diane went back to visit Danielle, again and again, and that hasn't stopped, and never will. This 8 year old child was in placement for 10 years, and in 8 different homes and locations, and Diane visited at every one of those placements. Diane also got Danielle an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) because Daniel had fallen behind in school due to her many moves, and needed additional academic support. Soon Danielle was not only enjoying school, but excelling in both math and reading.
Danielle is now 19 years old, and in college studying to become a social worker. Diane explained that she and Danielle "will be close until I can no longer hug, love, walk, talk and breathe. She is a very important part of my life and I would never change this experience."