Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021
January Volunteer of the Month
Christine Polliard advocates for a young boy and infant girl. Their case opened when they suffered neglect due to family difficulties and the need for some additional supports.
When Christine first came on the case, the little boy was struggling with regulating his emotions. He was recommended for grief counseling when his public outbursts became threatening. Christine jumped in immediately to help him, striving to provide a calm and collected presence. She worked hard from the beginning to gain not only his trust, but the trust of the family, trying to show she was there to be a positive influence and helping where needed.
The boy slowly began to make progress with his behavior. He also started to open up to Christine about his feelings about the case, his parents, and his wishes. When the time came to consider in-home family visits, he made it clear that he trusted only Christine and his therapist to be there with him. Christine said, “From the beginning we’ve had a deal. We shake each other’s hand and promise we won’t lie to each other.”
The case has proved to be an example of how the County and the legal team’s work can focus on strengthening families and empowering them to make the progress needed for their children. As Christine said, “This case shows that it’s not always a tragedy that leads to this, some families really just have speed bumps in the road and need help along the way out.”
The mother in Christine’s case was given a treatment plan to support her, and Christine has spent significant time helping the parents and encouraging them to make the necessary steps to move the case along and heal their family. Christine works hard to show the mother that her mistakes do not define her family’s future, and she has learned to lean on Christine just as much as the young boy. Christine’s advocacy work also includes ensuring the infant girl is getting her needs met and keeping the legal team and teachers informed about progress and barriers.
On top of all of the work for her current case, a past case of Christine’s just re-opened, and she took the second case without hesitation. Christine’s Senior Peer Coordinator, Paula Stack, remarked, “Christine said that the kids have been through so much and they deserve to see the same faces. I’m so grateful for volunteers with her big heart!”
We are glad to see this unique look into the influence CASA can have on not only the children we serve, but on their entire families as well. Thank you for your work Christine, and congratulations for being our January Volunteer of the Month!