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10.06.2016

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Advocate Impact - Mike Mathews

Mike Mathews has been a devoted Advocate since the moment he joined our team in April 2014. Within the past two-and-a-half years, Mike has dedicated his time to two cases and has improved the lives of seven children.

Right off the bat, Mike embraced a challenging case that truly showed how committed he was to the CASA mission. His first case involved a family from Burma (a Southeast Asian country) who spoke the language of Karenni.

Due to the rare language, it was nearly impossible to find a translator to attend court or meetings. Mike found and teamed up with a member of the church the family attended who spoke Karenni. Mike ensured that all steps were taken so that the family could understand the process via the translator.

Due to medical neglect, the oldest boy, Pete, was placed in a foster home in Houston and had undergone a tracheotomy because of his low weight.  Mike assisted the caseworker in getting medical records from the hospital in Houston. His hard work ensured that the family had a fair chance at integrating into their new surroundings.

From the moment that Mike was appointed to this case, he started working on advocating for the boys’ education. The boys were receiving services, but struggling with their grade placements. Mike had several meetings with teachers, principals, school psychologists, and counselors to ensure a successful future for the boys. Mike attended the Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) meetings, helped with homework, and empowered the children every step of the way.  

Although Mike had several goals to accomplish, one was to have Pete back in San Antonio. Pete needed a sleep study completed before his trach could be removed. Mike worked with Pete’s foster mom and doctors to make the transition to San Antonio go smoothly. Once Pete was placed in San Antonio, a sleep study was scheduled and Mike volunteered to stay by Pete’s side in the hospital all night long. Mike’s dedication to this family, and having Pete reunited with them was unquestionable.

Mike was instrumental in making sure that the family’s immigration status was resolved while they were involved with CPS. Mike worked hand-in-hand with Child Protective Services (CPS) to fill out immigration paperwork. Mike went out of his way and drove to Houston to get the documents signed and get a picture of Pete for the caseworker.  Due to his diligence, three of the boys and Mom were able to secure their Visas.  Unfortunately, during a caseworker change, the paperwork for Pete was not submitted, which put him at risk for deportation. Mike recommended to Judge Garcia that the oldest child stay in CPS conservatorship and file an appeal, in which the Judge agreed.

Because of Advocates like Mike Mathews, Child Advocates San Antonio is able to make differences in the lives of children who are in the Bexar county foster care system, and beyond. Thank you, Mike, for all that you’ve done and continue to do.

Advocate Impact - Mike Mathews