Sisters Ariya* and Ava* lived with their mother and her boyfriend when an altercation broke out in their home. Someone stepped on Ava during the fight, breaking her leg in three places. When the mother and boyfriend did not immediately take Ava to the hospital and lied to the doctors about what happened, CPS became involved. At just two and three years old, the girls were removed from their mother's care.
Kevin Juengst soon came into the picture as Ariya and Ava's advocate. Immediately he hit the ground running and worked to build relationships with the girls. At the time, the sisters lived with their great-grandmother, but the girls' biological mother remained in the picture. Initially, the mother was visiting with her daughters and set out to take the steps necessary to regain custody. Soon, however, the mother began a new relationship, and things took a turn for the worse. She began excessively drinking, lost her job, and at one point, tried to commit suicide.
The girl's father was recently out of jail but began reaching out to the great-grandmother for drug money. Unfortunately, it seemed like the girls did not have a biological parent that could provide stability to care for them.
Kevin was there through all of the turmoil and uncertainty -- he was the eyes and ears for the case. He never missed a visit with the girls and always kept up with what was happening with the adults in girls' lives. He kept thorough notes and took his role extremely seriously. Kevin was committed to doing everything he could to ensure that Ariya and Ava were in an environment where they would be safe.
Today, the sisters are still in the care of their great-grandmother, and Kevin has built an excellent relationship with them as he continues to ensure they continue to do well. He says the girls are obsessed with princesses and that they love to do dances and twirls. In one of their recent conversations, Ariya sang Kevin ten songs. And Kevin recently shared that the girls are extremely smart, gaining further knowledge daily, and overall, doing great. Thanks to the care and guidance of their advocate, the sisters are thriving.
Kevin was recently named our February 'Volunteer of the Month' because of his outstanding work and commitment to advocacy! Multiple staff supervisors reported that Kevin is simply an amazing volunteer. His intentional contact and relationship building with everyone involved in this case, as well as his diligent reporting, have been invaluable and have ultimately resulted in the best care for Ariya and Ava. Everyone at Child Advocates is so thankful for his dedication to bettering the lives of Houston's abused children.
Thank you, and congratulations, Kevin!
To learn how you can become a volunteer and make a difference like Kevin, click here.
*Names were changed to protect the identity of the children we help.