mariaMaria is a 15 year old girl whose family was involved with the state child welfare agency since 1988 because of allegations that her mom and dad were involved with drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and neglect. Maria’s mom left the family in 1995 and her whereabouts are still unknown.   Maria was taken from her dad and placed in foster care in 1997 when she was four years old because of her dad’s neglect.

Maria has spent most of her life in numerous foster placements including a shelter, a therapeutic foster home, residential facilities, and group homes, and she has had several psychiatric hospitalizations. When Patty, the CASA volunteer, was assigned to Maria she had been living in a group home for over two years.  The state child welfare’s goal for Maria at that time was long term residential care because according to her records Maria had serious emotional and behavioral problems and could not thrive in a family setting.