Advocate News


01.28.2015

Posted in:

ADVOCATE IMPACT:  Alicia Cruz

This case involves three children who came into CPS care due to extreme physical abuse by their mother and her boyfriend. Neighbors had notified the police, reporting what they believed to be sounds of a domestic assault in the home. The mother was caught in the act of attempting to drown one of the children in the bathtub.

All three children were placed in ICU. They were later released from the hospital, and the children ages 7, 6, and 3 years old were placed in separate foster homes. Advocate Alicia Cruz immediately visited each of the children in their placements. Almost 2 weeks after opening the case, they were moved into a foster-adopt home in Buda together. Despite the distance, Alicia visited them right away. She focused on assisting with their transition into this home together, and was present when the placement had to change due to unexpected issues with foster parents.

The new foster home the children were moved to already had 4 biological children of their own, and the family welcomed the children with open arms. Only three weeks later, Alicia received a frantic call from the foster mother stating that CPS informed her that they wanted to move the children to another foster home near Dallas. This would be the fourth move in just a few short months. The current placement had already expressed a desire to adopt if the parents did not comply, and felt the children were a good fit for their family. The children themselves were distraught over the idea of yet another move. At this point, the biological mom and dad were not complying with CPS in their plans or services. Alicia was able to confirm with the caseworker that the CPS wanted to move the children again due to concerns about the number of children in the home.   

Alicia quickly contacted the children’s therapist and the children’s attorney to update them on this latest news regarding placement. They were all in agreement with her that the children should not be moved to yet another home. The youngest child, Adam was starting to develop separation anxiety, which Alicia was able to observe when she visited the children that weekend. He did not want to leave his foster mom’s presence without reassurance that she would be right there waiting for him when he returned. After further discussion with the children’s attorney, the therapist, and CASA, CPS decided to leave the children in their current placement where they could continue bonding with this family.

Once the children became comfortable in the foster home, Simone and Sean began to exhibit some sexualized behaviors. It was discovered that mother’s boyfriend confessed to helping holding Sean down while his mother sexually abused him. Alicia notified the children’s therapist regarding these concerns and received confirmation that he was addressing these concerns in therapy. The foster mom reported that Simone had limited her behavior to drawing the occasional inappropriate picture.  Sean’s behaviors, unfortunately, are not diminishing, but increasing. Alicia speaks with the children’s therapist regularly about behavior modification techniques.

Both the biological mother and her boyfriend are now incarcerated; both were indicted on charges stemming from the abuse of the children. There are no appropriate family members available to take the children in at this time. While the case is still on-going, Alicia is dedicated to remaining in these children’s lives until permanency is established. She visits the children several times a month making sure that all their needs are being addressed. Meanwhile, the foster-adopt family stays committed to their desire to adopt these children and provide them a safe and stable family environment in which to thrive and flourish.