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Third GAL Report by 7prtol




PORCHE YEVETTE C                                        No:    01 P 0000

                           REPORT OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM
                                    July 1, 2004
        On November 25, 2002, CVLS was appointed guardian ad litem of Petitioner
Patricia F’s ten grandchildren:
        Porche C, age 15
        Geturah G, age 12
        Keith B, age 12
        Crisy A. J, age 11
        Kapri B, age 11
        Crystal J, age 10
        Kendrick B, age 10
        Darvaughn J, age 8
        Lashawn G, age 7
        Elijah J, age 6

        Patricia F was appointed guardian of the four C and B children in 2002. She is
their maternal grandmother.
        She was appointed guardian of her paternal grandchildren—the G/J children—in
        A status GAL report was filed on October 29, 2003 which advised the court that
the children and their grandmother seemed to be handling the large household well.
        Stacy G, mother of Porche Crawford and Keith, Kapri and Kendrick B, was in
court that day to ask about regaining custody of her children. I spoke with her in the hall
and advised her to contact me so that I could meet with her and investigate her
situation. She has cooperated fully with me. I met with her, the children and the
guardian in the spring. As a result, I am recommending that the guardianship be
discharged and she regain custody of her children.
       Ms. G, age 30, lives in Glenwood, Illinois with her husband Rodney L. They were
married in August, 2003 after knowing each other for about two years. Rodney and
Stacy own a three bedroom home. Rodney has a 7-year-old son who resides with his
mother in Chicago, but visits on weekends. Rodney pays child support for his son
pursuant to court order.
       Stacy has worked as a sales consultant for XXXX Ford in Chicago for over a
year. She claims to gross four to five thousand dollars a months. In addition, she is
taking psychology classes at Prairie State with the goal of eventually getting a college
degree. Rodney has worked for XXXXXXX for nine years as a union lineman. Stacy
says that he earns $100,000+.
       Stacy was charged with child neglect a few years ago, allegedly for leaving her
children alone for several days. She says that she actually left them home alone for only
one day. She says a neighbor with whom she had problems called DCFS to report her.
Stacy minimized the situation by claiming that while she was gone she checked in with
her children regularly by phone. Regardless, she was charged with a misdemeanor.
She claims that her Juvenile Court case was dismissed. However, she decided to give
guardianship of the children to her mother because she was starting a new, demanding
job that took much of her time.
       Stacy lives in the same school district as her mother, which means that her
children will not change schools if the guardianship is discharged. She says that she
has been very involved with the children’s schools and teachers.
       Stacy says that she has been helping her mother care for her children and her
nieces and nephews for the last year or so. She visits her mother every morning to help
get the children off to school. She takes her children to her home on weekends. She
says her children love Rodney and are very happy when they are all together at her
home on weekends. She says that she is settled and ready to regain their custody and
take care of them in her home instead of in her mother’s home. At the same time, she
says that she understands that her mother is important to these children and has done a
wonderful job caring for them. She acknowledges that the grandmother will always be a
part of their lives.
       Patricia F acknowledged that Stacy has been helping her care for her children
and her nieces and nephews for some time now. Patricia agrees that it is time for the
guardianship to be discharged. She believes that Stacy can and will take good care of
her children. She also says, however, that Stacy and the children know that if anything
goes wrong, she (Patricia) is nearby and will step back in to help if necessary.
       Patricia also agrees that the children love Rodney and that he is a good
stepfather to them. She feels that the boys especially benefit from the time they spend
with him.
       Patricia is very willing to discharge the guardianship and send the four B/C home
to their mother.

       Porche is 15 years old. She bore the brunt of her mother’s neglect four years ago
when she, at age 11, was the one taking care of her younger brothers. When her
grandmother took the children in, Porche needed to be reminded that she was a child.
Porche has had problems in the past few years following rules.
       The guardian sent Porche to the Baptist Children’s Home last year for six
months. According to both the grandmother and the mother, the child was “out of
control” and refused to follow any rules. The residential program provided structure and
therapy. Everyone agrees that Porche was much better when she came home. This
spring she was earning high honors in her high school classes.
       Porche is ready, willing and able to return to her mother’s custody. She
acknowledged that her mother has been caring for them at their grandmother’s house—
coming by every morning before school. She also agrees that they spend most
weekends at the mother’s home. She likes Rodney and says that he has been very
nice. When asked, she denied that he exhibits any inappropriate behavior or discipline.
       Porche also, however, loves her grandmother. She wants to go home to her
mother’s but is happy that her mom lives near her grandmother. At this point in her life,
Porche may very well move back and forth when it suits her.
        The three boys are very eager to move home with their mother and Rodney. They
are thrilled with that possibility. They love their grandmother very much, but want to be with
their mom. They also say that Rodney has never treated them badly. They enjoy spending
time with him.

        I recommend that this guardianship be discharged and that custody of the four
children be returned to the mother. The mother has been actively involved in the care of
her children for the past year. She has a stable home and sufficient income to provide
for their care. The children are comfortable with her husband. The children want to go
home with their mother. The guardian agrees that the mother is ready to resume their
        I do think the mother has minimized what happened a few years ago that led to
the need for guardianship. I also think the mother has minimized the significance this
had on her daughter. Porche was thrust into adult responsibilities at an early age. The
mother may have a difficult time if she expects to resume an authoritative role over this
child. Porche may accept her grandmother as a parent more quickly than she will her
mother. I recommend that the mother consider getting counseling for the two of them.
These teenage years are difficult enough—more so given this family’s history. However,
this suggestion does not negate my recommendation. Porche wants to go home too. I
just want this family to be prepared for the problems that will develop.
       I recommend that the guardianship be discharged and the estate closed,

                                                  MARGARET C. BENSON
                                                  Guardian Ad Litem

Margaret C. Benson
Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (#91139)
Guardian Ad Litem
100 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60602

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