Write a Letter or Email to NH CASA/GAL
The names and information below are fictitious.
I'd like to take a moment to share my concerns with you about Sally's health and well-being during her visits, as well as my concerns related to her mother's behavior last Tues. at the pediatrician's office. Additionally, I'd also like you to know that Sally's need for speech therapy has yet to be addressed.
I am also requesting that you advocate for Sally's birth parents to be drug tested to ensure Sally's safety prior to her attending any appointments or visits. I have noticed on more than one occasion that Sally's mother has appeared impaired and has almost fallen asleep. As you know, Sally has chronic respiratory issues and requires frequent visits to the pediatrician. On the one occasion that Sally's father came to a doctor's appointment, he also appeared impaired and smelled of alcohol, specifically beer. The pediatrician has also expressed concerns about the sobriety of both parents and will be contacting you directly. I do not feel comfortable spending time with Sally's parents if they are impaired and I'm requesting a team meeting to address this issue.
I would like your help addressing the following issues:
• Sally has expressed fears related to being picked up by multiple strangers for visitation (five total in the past three weeks). Please advocate for consistent van drivers for Sally. Over the past few weeks she has gotten very upset the moment she sees the van pull into the drive-way and clings to me and cries when I try and put her in the car seat.
• Sally's day care teacher and the center director have expressed on-going concerns about Sally becoming increasingly aggressive with her four-year old peers. She appears the most aggressive when she is dropped off after visitation and has also been using profanity. Could you please advocate for Sally to be seen regularly by a play therapist so she can work through her past trauma-related issues and hopefully express herself in a more safe and appropriate manner?
• I’m deeply troubled about the foods Sally is reportedly eating during visits as her diet should be gluten-free due to her chronic healthcare issues. Sally's day care teacher Miss Suzie has reported that after visitation Sally has complained of stomach pain and often has a decreased amount of energy to play. The pediatrician has instructed for Sally to have a gluten-free diet and I am deeply concerned that her parents are not following his instructions.
• Can you advocate that the parent aide sets up a plan for parental expectations surrounding Sally's hygiene? In the past I have reminded the parent aide that Sally needs assistance with toileting, but she continues to return with soiled clothing.
• As I'm sure you'll agree, Sally should not be returned to daycare after lunchtime without having been fed. Sally returned from a 4 1/2 hour visit (10AM-2:30PM) yesterday having not had any snacks or lunch (per the parent aide's report). Please be aware that I was told by the CPSW that I shouldn't send food with Sally for her visits anymore.
Please let me know if you are able to reach someone re: Sally's need for speech therapy. Thank you for your on-going concerns about Sally's well-being and for the advocacy you provide on her behalf- it is very much appreciated.
[Cc: the CPSW and the CASA and/or DCYF supervisor(s) if absolutely necessary- for instance if a previous letter or major concern has repeatedly gone unaddressed. Remember, CASA is an independent and separate entity from DCYF].