Sumner County CASA began assigning volunteers in April 1992 and has advocated for 2,088 children to date. In 2011-2012 fiscal year, 53
CASA volunteers provided and made services possible to 237 children,
donated 2,895 hours, trained 573
hours and drove over 18,799 miles. 17
new CASA volunteers were trained and sworn in during our 2011-2012 fiscal year.
Sumner County CASA Volunteer
Kay, Jan, Jean, Dave C. Terry, Sherry,
Polly, Dean, Karen, Candice, Christine,
Tracy, Greg, Phil, Brandi, John, Frances
Betsy, Kit, Shara,
County CASA's Board of Directors
Dale Hardiman-Past President
Cheryl McAdams-President Elect
J. Ritter, Executive Director
Melanie Chumbley, Associate Director
Kristin Heagarty, Case Manager
J. Patrick Gray-Development Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA
The story below is an actual letter written by Megan for whom CASA helped find permanence. Megan’s
story is just one of the more than 300 families that Sumner County CASA will help in this upcoming year. CASA volunteers are
“Everyday Heroes” who make a difference in a child’s life.
When I tell people I’m adopted they always want to know
my story. It’s not a pretty story, but it has a very happy ending. My little brothers
and sister and I are going to live “happily ever after”, but it might not have turned out that way if my Mom (adoptive
mother) had not heard from CASA. Mom and Daddy (adoptive parents) had gotten my baby brother when he was
only seven weeks old, and he had already been neglected (something left out of his care) until he almost starved.
But our birth parents kept saying they wanted us back, and the laws say that the State has to do all it can do to put
children back with their birth parents. But my Mom just knew there was something terribly wrong in that
house, and she was terrified that my tiny baby brother was going to be sent back. When the CASA volunteer
called and said that she was working with our family, she was just so nice to my Mom. She said that she
was going to do her best for the kids. My Mom told her that she was positive that drugs and abuse were
going on in the home of our birth parents, and she begged our CASA to investigate it. My Mom could just
tell that this was someone she could trust and someone who was going to work very hard for us. So she told
the CASA volunteer everything she had heard or seen. Our CASA volunteer listened to my Mom.
She started investigating everything my Mom told her. I know it was hard for her, because besides
being a CASA volunteer she (CASA volunteer) was a single Mom and had a full-time job, but when she checked into everything
it was all true. Soon after that, Mom and Daddy asked if my little sister, another little brother, and
I could come there to live, too, because we were all in different foster homes. That’s when the CASA
volunteer came to talk to me. She was SO SWEET to me. She made me feel so safe.
She told me that I could tell her anything and she would report it to the juvenile judge. I could
tell she was somebody who really wanted to help us. Because of all the things the CASA volunteer found
out about the drugs, our social worker with the Department of Children’s Services did a drug test on my birth mother’s
boyfriend. He wasn’t my father, but he was my brothers’ and sister’s
father. He tested positive, and that was just the beginning. Everybody knew then that
the things that had been reported were really true. I told the CASA volunteer, my caseworker and my counselors
everything that I could remember from the time I was a little girl. They said that I was very courageous
to tell my story, and maybe that would make a real difference in our lives. My birth mother and her boyfriend
had to go to court so the judge could decide if he would terminate their parental rights. The judge said
he might talk to me, and even though I was very nervous, I knew I would find the courage to do it. But
because of all the hard work our CASA volunteer and our social worker had done, I didn’t even have to do anything.
The CASA volunteer and staff went to court for us along with our wonderful social worker, and some other really important
people, too, like the court appointed lawyer that represented the kids, and the CPS worker who had removed us.
My Mom called them the “Dream Team”, because they all worked together with the attorney to do what was
right for us. The judge granted the termination, and six months after that we got the best Christmas present
in the world. Mom and Daddy and their already adopted daughter adopted all four of us, so for the first
time in my life I was in a REAL FAMILY! I know that my parents have had to work very hard to change
from being the parents of one to being the parents of five young children. They had to buy a new van and
more furniture and move things all over the house. There’s never enough time to do all the laundry
at once, and Mom said her grocery bill resembles “the National Debt”, whatever that is, but when anyone asks my
parents why they did this they always give the same answer. They didn’t go out looking for four children
to adopt. They volunteered to foster a baby. But when God gave them a baby with three
siblings who needed to be loved forever, they knew what they had to do…love us forever! Thank you
CASA for being there for us!