Advocate Barbara Kosinski has been with CASA since October 2015 and is currently assigned to her first case advocating for an elementary aged boy.
A rough childhood from the start, the boy was placed with "family friends" as soon as he was born and then experienced abuse and neglect in that home. When he was removed from the situation, he was placed in a separate foster home apart from the other children who he already knew as brother and sister. When Barbara joined the case, it seemed like he would never be adopted. The boy has a genetic disorder which creates learning disabilities and medical issues. He has experienced many changes in life, including multiple social workers, foster families and 4 different schools.
Luckily, the same foster family who took in the boy's "siblings" kept them in contact with each other and eventually asked to also take in the young boy, despite his health and educational difficulties. They are now on the path to adopting him and Barbara has been there every step of the way. She has attended meetings with the adoptive parents at his new school, helped to advocate for medical testing to confirm his genetic disorder, and increased his medical and dental care. As a CASA advocate, Barbara is now showing the adoptive parents how they can begin advocating for the boy and helping connect them to the services he needs. With Barbara's help they have increased the frequency of occupational and speech therapy appointments and worked with the school to change his IEP (Individual Education Plan.) The adoptive parents have told Barbara, "When we call you it's like calling a friend. We know that if you don't have the answers, you'll get them."
Barbara says she has seen a big change in the boy since finding a permanent, loving home and receiving the services he needs. She says "He's a happy happy guy." The other day as she was leaving a home visit she heard him yelling "Wait! Wait!" at her. When she got out of the car he ran up, wrapped his arms around her and said "I forgot to give you a hug."
Barbara will continue her advocacy for the boy and her work with the adoptive parents to make sure this child can continue to be happy and healthy even after he is no longer in the foster care system.