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Advocate Impact:  Beth Taylor

Upon hearing the sexual abuse, domestic violence, and parental drug use allegations that led to the removal of a 6 year old and her 1 year old sister, Beth quickly began her advocacy on behalf of the girls. Shortly after being placed in an emergency shelter, an evaluation by medical personnel revealed that there was heightened concern by the 6 year old of the severity of the sexual abuse by a ‘family friend’ who lived in the home.

The children were placed in a fictive kin placement on the outskirts of San Antonio selected by the parents and remained there for approximately 14 months.  There were more than a dozen occasions where law enforcement was called out to the placement due to constant stalking and harassment by the parents. Beth was in regular contact with law enforcement in both counties. She, at a moment’s notice, would stop what she was doing to respond to calls and texts from the parents and/or the placement. Beth made sure that everything possible was done to guarantee the children were not negatively impacted.  On average, she was either at the placement or had the children with her on a weekly basis – transporting to parent/child visits, therapy sessions, or following up on concerns.  Beth would easily dedicate 4 or more hours each time she interacted with the children.  On numerous occasions, Beth, whose primary source of income was from tips, would voluntarily give up her work shifts to dedicate her time to ensure that the girls’ best interests were always at the forefront. 

Beth was instrumental in ensuring that no stone was left unturned on this case.  She contact the oldest child’s biological father, who lives on the East Coast; and with the ad litem and therapist’s approval facilitated weekly telephone contact between the child and her father.  This resulted in the child’s father and grandfather driving from New Jersey to San Antonio to visit with the child.  With Beth’s assistance and persistence, the process to approve placement with the father was successful and the child was recently reunited with him. 

Beth also worked closely with the maternal grandmother in Pennsylvania, who has guardianship of the girls’ half-sister. As a result, the maternal grandmother and maternal great grandmother were able to visit with the girls locally earlier this year. The younger child is now placed in Pennsylvania with her grandmother and half-sister. Although the girls are in two separate states; the families are working together to ensure they see each other at least twice a month. 

Throughout this case, Beth prepared twelve lengthy court reports, compiled police reports from multiple law enforcement agencies, secured 911 tapes and had face to face or telephone contact with over one hundred people connected to the case. She also attended and observed at least one of the three monthly parent/child visits over the duration of the case and was present at all the court hearings.

Beth advocated tirelessly, ensuring that the children were insulated from all the chaos that surrounded this case.  Although the Court has not rendered its Final Orders, Beth’s positive impact and relentless advocacy on their behalf continues to be admirable.