Larry & Noah: Consistency and Hope
Larry had been a CASA for two years when he met Noah, age 13. Larry liked him immediately. Noah was chatty, bright, and charismatic and he’d been through a lot in his life. After being removed from his father’s care, Noah had several foster care placements, including a home in Southern California. Throughout these changes, Larry was a consistent person in Noah’s life, visiting him in his various placements and connecting over phone and Facetime.
When Noah was placed in a difficult home with an overly strict caregiver, Larry called Noah’s social worker and advocated for a new placement where Noah could have a better chance at success. Finally, Noah had the opportunity to be placed with an experienced foster parent in Marin.
Larry got to work with this foster parent, encouraging the structure and support that the foster parent was providing so that Noah could have a chance at stability. Larry also became Noah’s education rights holder and advocated for Noah to be placed in classes that met his educational needs and his interests – like auto shop, which Noah loved! Larry also worked to ensure that Noah remained connected to his little sister and extended family, who were important and supportive figures in Noah’s life.
During this time, Noah also reconnected with his mother, who had not been in his life for almost five years. Larry talked a lot about family with Noah, and his conflicted feelings about his parents, but also his future, where Noah envisioned himself working on cars and going to college. Larry attended almost weekly meetings with Noah’s mental health team to ensure that Noah had the space needed to process this new relationship and focus on his goals.
Eventually, Noah went to live with his mother, a recommendation that Larry supported but he also knew that this big change would be a challenge for Noah. Larry remained in close contact with Noah, Noah’s mother, and Noah’s team to ensure that this transition would go as smoothly as possible. When Noah moved in with his mother, one of his wishes was to continue to attend his high school, now more than 25 miles away. With Larry’s support and guidance, Noah successfully took a train to his high school, a commute of over an hour each way to continue to attend his preferred school.
Over the course of the case, Larry wasn’t always sure he was making a difference with Noah. At times, Noah was angry and distrustful of adults But Larry stuck with Noah, knowing that his consistency was what Noah needed after experiencing a lifetime of challenges. And one day, as Larry was dropping off Noah, Noah turned to Larry and said, “I want you to know that I appreciate all that you’ve done for me.”
With the support of his CASA Larry, Noah navigated through some of the biggest changes in his life with a consistent, caring advocate by his side. Noah’s story is still in progress, but there’s a lot of hope for a bright future.