JACOB & AMAYA’S STORY
At one year old, Jacob’s only clothing was a pair of overalls. He had no socks or shoes. His little sister, Amaya, was a four-pound newborn going through withdrawals from opioids, easily startled and with tense muscles. With their mother struggling with homelessness and addiction, CPS knew a CASA volunteer was needed to speak up for these vulnerable children and help find the best solution in a complex situation.
CASA volunteer Gay stepped forward to be a voice for Jacob and Amaya. Gay spent time with Jacob and Amaya every other week and advocated for them to receive early intervention services needed to overcome the medical problems and developmental delays caused by their abuse and neglect. Over time, she watched them grow and thrive in a safe home. She held Jacob’s hand as he sat through his asthma treatment and Amaya felt heavier and heavier in Gay’s arms until she was strong enough to sit up and start crawling.
Eventually CPS knew they would need to find a family to adopt Jacob and Amaya, and since their CASA Gay knew them so well, she was able to help CPS find the perfect family to fit Jacob and Amaya’s special needs. After a year in foster care, these children were adopted into their forever family.
Their CASA volunteer, Gay, was the most consistent person in their young lives and was there to help the children transition to their foster placement. During the thirteen months they were in foster care they lived in three different foster homes, had three different CPS workers, but only one CASA. When one of Jacob and Amaya’s foster families took in a new baby boy, the foster mother called CASA of Tarrant County and asked if Gay could be the CASA volunteer for the new baby.