Last April, I launched a business called Case Navigator™, which is designed to safely reunify families who find themselves in juvenile (child welfare) court, and to do that in a timely fashion. I have talked to many, many people who have been very generous with their time—experts in their field, as well as legislators on both sides of the aisle. I have done research, attended conferences, and have done a lot of listening, trying to craft the best possible service that will serve parents and the professionals that work with them. The bill, as written, is pretty general. If you would like more details, I would be delighted to talk to you. And—
On Thursday, Senator Matt McCoy filed Senate Bill 79—proposing funding for a case navigator pilot program! I am so grateful, and so excited.
And here’s the humorous, “personal touch” part of the story.
My friend and colleague, Diane Dornburg, had invited me to speak at her church last December regarding CASA (a well-regarded and meaningful program for which I volunteer as a coach—we work with abused and neglected kids) and also juvenile (child welfare) court generally. I was delighted to do so, and had a wonderful time.
On Thursday, she sent me an email, asking, “Do you have a bill?” Because I had no idea that SF 79 had been filed, I thought she was asking if I had a bill to submit for my speaking engagement! I was sitting there thinking, “Well, no, that was a freebie.” But then I opened up the attachment, and realized she was talking about the legislative bill that Senator McCoy filed!
Sitting in Caribou, waiting to meet a friend, I could hardly keep from jumping up and down, fist pumping, and yelling, “Yes!!!” (Or as my friend, Steve Quirk, CEO of Youth Emergency Services & Shelter would say, “YESS”!). And then, when I calmed down a bit, I had another thought.
“I have no idea what to do next.”
I do know there is still a long road ahead, with a lot of hard work involved. I know it might not go anywhere. BUT—this is a very significant step towards helping parents stay on track, to help their “team” function more efficiently and effectively, and to get kids back home safely.
That’s my big news! Thank you for letting me share it with you. And if you have been a part of this journey with me, THANK YOU! Thank you so much for your generosity of time, your willingness to make introductions, and your encouragement along the way.
It means the world to me.