Ben was 13 when he entered the child welfare system.
At such a young age, he had already seen some of the worst that life has to offer. He was removed from his Colorado Springs home by the Department of Human Services and placed in foster care in north Denver.
Not only was he navigating his teen years and foster care at the same time, but he was also in some trouble of his own with a pending juvenile case that required him to face charges, a prosecutor, and a judge.
Ben needed someone to listen. He needed someone to stand by him. That’s when he found his CASA, Marc Verity.
It was Marc’s very first case as a CASA.
“I’ll never forget the first time I met Ben,” he recalled. “We met at a park and as we walked around, we had a long and engaging discussion. At the end of the visit, I asked him if there was anything else I should know about him. He replied ‘No, I pretty much showed you the whole park’.”
Over the course of the next year, Marc helped Ben navigate the system. He was there to listen, without interruption or lectures. And he stood by the boy through both his ups and his downs. The two developed a close relationship that often revolved around diner food and mountain bike rides.
“Right before the case closed, I told Ben I would no longer have an official responsibility to advocate for him. I told him we could of course continue our relationship but that it would be up to him and his mother,” Marc said. “He looked at me and said ‘You’re not going anywhere’.”
CASA changes the lives of children like Ben every day. Whether it’s through volunteer advocacy, supervised visits, or the Milton Foster Children’s Fund and The Hanger – CASA makes a difference.
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