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A past case I had included twin boys, 9 at the time, Rico, their father, a paternal grandmother, and a paternal great-grandmother.

The twins' father, Rico, had been arrested and was going to do prison time; the mother was out of the picture. The grandmothers in this case were both younger than me, and my tender 64 years.

But, on to their story. The grandmothers both had difficult lives. Both pregnant before 18, dropped out of high school, the great-grandmother married the father of her first child,. They had another child and then, he left her alone to raise their children. The grandmother, had only one child. She did not marry the biological father, and went on to have several other relationships with men, until she just stopped. Rico, as a child, spent time being "passed back and forth" between his paternal great-grandma and paternal grandma and even to the occasional boyfriends of both.

Rico and the twins' mother were both under 18, when she got pregnant. The biological mother left before the boys were 2, and her location is still unknown. Since then Rico has had several girlfriends, and often the child baggage each girlfriend brings along. He cares deeply for his children, but had difficulty providing them a stable life.

What a way to grow up. No definite mother figure, although the twins both revere their grandmothers, and mention Carla, a past girlfriend of their father as a "nice lady who cooked meals for us" but she also disappeared when Rico and she broke up.

You following all this? Sometimes I feel like a need a chart. Here, there are 4 generations. All the adults involved state they want what's best for the children.

Best? Well the great-grandmother, has a new boyfriend and really doesn't want to mess that up. The grandmother is functionally homeless, couch surfing and she does not get along all that well with her mother. You make the call. (Admittedly this is a COMPOSITE case, however it is not far off from several of my CASA cases).

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