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Advocate Impact - James and Elaine Tamayo

James and Elaine Tamayo were sworn in as CASA Advocates in December 2015.  They selected a case with four girls, ranging in age from one to seven years old.   The children were removed from their parents due to neglectful supervision and drug use by both parents. They were able to be placed with their maternal grandmother.

The Tamayos accompanied the CPS Caseworker and met the children at their placement soon after accepting the case.  Their ability to schedule subsequent visits with the placement, however, was proving to be difficult as the maternal grandmother would not respond to telephone calls.   Although the Tamayos had only interacted with the children on a couple of occasions, it was evident that the children felt safe and comfortable talking to the volunteers.  The older children, in their own words, shared that their grandmother was not protecting them and that they had been allowed to see their mom.   It is because of the care and nurturing from the Advocates that the children felt comfortable enough to disclose information about feeling unsafe.  Shortly after, Grandma told them she was being evicted from her home.  The children were placed in the Children’s Shelter. The Tamayos saw the children the very next day to ensure they were doing okay and provide reassurance that they would be visiting then regularly. 

The process to locate appropriate relatives and secure permanency for the children was a high priority.   Records reviewed by the Tamayos indicated that no one on the paternal side of the family had been considered for placement of the children.  Upon receiving contact information for the paternal grandmother, the Tamayos quickly volunteered to go to paternal grandmother’s residence. The home was inviting and the family was extremely welcoming and interested in placement of kids. Grandma does not have any beds for the children so the Tamayos reached out to the community and found a set of bunk beds for the children. They then took time out of their schedule to drive out to Boerne, TX to pick up the bunk beds and then to New Braunfels, TX to deliver them. Grandma was extremely grateful and without the Tamayo’s involvement, this first step would not have happened.   A comprehensive home study is now underway and the hope is that the children will soon be able to transition to this loving relative home. 

Meanwhile, the Tamayos continue to visit the children at the Children’s Shelter and take the children on outings. The children are very bonded to one another and the oldest is finally experiencing what it is like to be a child rather than be the parent of her younger sisters.  These Advocates advocated for the children to receive age appropriate therapy and it is now occurring. 

The Tamayos have made a huge positive impact on this case in a few short months.  They are a very strong voice for the children and are passionate in their effort to ensure that all the needs of these children are met at the highest level possible. Thank you James and Elaine for all of your advocacy on behalf of the four girls who are so fortunate to have you in their lives during this most difficult time.