by | May 9, 2023 | Stories, Uncategorized

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Kyla was fourteen years old when she came into foster care. Her mom was arrested for physically assaulting her partner. Kyla tried to stop the violence and ended up getting punched in the face. Due to several outstanding warrants and the most recent assault, Kyla’s mom faced serious criminal charges and went to prison. Kyla’s case was placed on the CASA priority list and was quickly picked up by newly sworn-in CASA, Serena.

When Serena first met Kyla, she was living in Billings with a family member. The two quickly hit it off, and Serena visited Kyla at her new home, and school regularly. Things changed quickly for the teen however, when her family member suddenly decided to move out of state, leaving Kyla once again without a place to call home. Due to a shortage of local foster homes, Kyla was moved to a group home in a different city in Montana. This was an incredibly difficult move for the fourteen-year-old. Serena continued to be her CASA, despite the distance, and she maintained contact with Kyla over text messages and skype, and even went to visit her, driving every few months to see her.

Serena has been Kyla’s CASA for over two years now. Recently, Kyla moved from her group home to live with a long-time family friend. At her last court hearing, Kyla wrote a letter to the judge and said, “I finally feel like I am home.” Her CASA is still a constant in her life and will remain a friend and mentor after the case closes. Kyla’s current placement is hoping to be her permanent guardian and home. Serena and Kyla have been working together as Kyla finishes high school and finds a job. Despite the challenges of the last several years, Kyla is doing well and has a bright future ahead of her.

This is a true story about a family in the Billings community and their volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate. When you support CASA of Yellowstone County, you support children like Kyla.

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Court Appointed Special Advocates are community volunteers who speak up for the best interests of children in foster care. Volunteer CASAs work for the best interests of kids by advocating for their safety and permanency.

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