Advocate News


10.31.2012

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Advocate Impact: Tom Weaver’s Story

If you were to ask San Antonio Children’s Court Judge Charles Montemayor about child welfare cases, he would tell you that some are more challenging than others. This is also something that CASA Advocate Tom Weaver knows all about. When a case with 9 children (ages: newborn to 14) split between four foster placements, and a criminal case against their mother for allegedly organizing and videotaping child fights, came across Judge Montemayor’s desk, he immediately knew that it needed a CASA Advocate.


Many people would be overwhelmed by a case involving so many children, but Tom did not hesitate. He worked tirelessly to gather information pertinent to the case, while still making time to be there for the children involved. When the oldest child was removed from his foster home, due to marijuana use, Tom made the time to visit him in Houston.


As the trial date approached, the likelihood of termination of parental rights became evident, and the question of who would adopt such a large sibling group arose. Tom went to work investigating options. When a relative in Dallas was found who was willing to take in six of the children, Tom drove up to meet them and ensure that the placement was safe. When his preliminary visit revealed a number of problems, and the local CPS office was unable to provide a list of needed improvements, it was Tom who worked with his Advocate Supervisor to find a requirement check-list. Due to his research and encouragement, the family was able to correct the problems and pass their home study.


The family was then told by their CPS caseworker that there was no stipend money for adopting the children. The family began to doubt that they could move forward with the placement, as the increased financial burden of six children was too great. Tom again consulted with his Advocate Supervisor and was able to provide the relatives with official CPS documentation showing that they were eligible for the much needed stipend and other financial assistance. Without his help, the six children would have been forced to be split up and remain in foster care.


He then turned his attention to the three youngest children, who had yet to find permanency. Tom’s work was instrumental in getting the children into foster-to-adopt placements, and assisting those families throughout the entire process. As the case began to draw to a close, it was again Tom who drove to Houston to personally pick up the eldest child, transport him back to San Antonio, and then up to Dallas to be reunited with his siblings—driving almost 1,200 miles in two days!


Tom has showed unbelievable commitment, kindness, and compassion in his work. CASA, and the children of Bexar County, are lucky to have such a dedicated Advocate—willing to go well above and beyond the call of duty—on behalf of abused and neglected children. Tom Weaver truly is an inspiration to us all.