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Friday July 25, 2014
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Caring CASAs

 

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The screen in her office in the county courthouse fills with listings. "This is all the children who are in foster care right now who are available to be adopted," she explains. "This is just in Michigan. There are fourteen pages of them."

"What breaks your heart are all the fifteen- and sixteen-year-olds, and they want to be adopted. Not many families want to take on a fifteen-year-old," says Tesoriero, in her Brooklyn accent. It's her job to coordinate the county's court-appointed special advocates, volunteers who work with children who have been removed from their families and placed in foster care.

Tesoriero navigates to another page titled "waiting males." "I know this is horrible," she says, "but if you ever look for a pet online, it's so similar it kind of makes you nauseous."

The ways kids end up being advertised here are even more disturbing. "It's not unusual to have drug addiction as an issue of the parents, so the children are being neglected because they're being left while the parents are out doing drugs, or abused. I mean, we've seen kids used as drug runners--it's not as unusual as it should be--they're in the home, they witness violence, they can witness shootings."

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