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Advocate Impact - Miguel and Amabel Arellano

CASA Volunteers, Miguel and Amabel Arellano signed on their first case in February 2015.  The case they selected has five children who range in age from 6 to 16 years old; 4 boys and 1 girl.  These siblings came into the Child Protective System (CPS) care due to Neglectful Supervision.  Their 12 year old brother was shot by their 14 year old cousin in the home. Some of the children witnessed the shooting and it occurred while the Mother and the Father of the youngest three children were in the home.  The children’s mother has proven to be a heroin and opiates addict and has a long history with Child Protective Services.  

Upon removal from their home, the boys were placed with their Paternal Grandmother (PGM).   Their sister was placed with her biological father who resided in another city and had no CPS history.  All the children were very traumatized by what had occurred. The boys were just getting settled with their Grandmother when they had to be uprooted and moved again to a new foster placement because a cousin returned to the Grandmother's residence after being released from juvenile detention. 

Although the boys were placed together, the transition was very difficult for them.  It required attending a new school and developing new friends.  The Arellanos, who had a very good relationship with the children, were told by the younger siblings that the oldest sibling, Jacob, was being a bully and physically abusive by hitting them.  Additionally, the placement informed the Arellanos that Jacob was acting out during school and may be smoking marijuana.  

The Arellanos immediately notified the CPS Caseworker and the children’s therapist.   Prior to receiving this information from the Advocates, CPS had not been notified of any behavioral issues at the placement.  The placement provided CPS a 10 day notice to secure another home for Jacob as he could no longer stay there.  Jacob was moved and placed with his Maternal Grandmother.   She had been invited to, and attended, a Family Group Conference (FGC) to talk about the children and whether she might be a possible long term placement.  The Arellanos were instrumental in partnering with Casey Family Programs to have this meeting so Grandmother could attend.  At this time, the Grandmother, after strong support from the Arellanos, is being considered for placement of all the boys – so once again they can be together.     
The Arellanos advocated tirelessly to ensure all the children were in therapy and are committed to see this case through to permanency.  Placement of Jacob with his Grandmother has been positive.  With the assistance of the Arellanos, a subsequent FGC was held at Casey to address Justin’s behavior.  The outcome has resulted in an apology to his siblings for his behavior. He subsequently told the Advocates, “he just wanted to be placed with his Grandmother” and his siblings are looking forward to being placed with him and their Grandmother too.   
The Arellanos have done a magnificent job keeping up with all the children’s grades and making sure they all have the necessary tools in place for their educational needs.  Additionally, they are in contact with the children’s’ therapist who is addressing the trauma that these children suffered.  Miguel, who is employed at HEB Headquarters, is assisting and serving as a role model to help the teen Jacob secure employment at HEB.    

Miguel and Amabel Arellano’s unwavering commitment to these children and all the support they have and continue to provide, is commendable. 

Thank you Miguel and Amabel for making such a difference!