When Tayler Moots and her family moved to Delaware County 11 years ago, she began looking for opportunities to give back. Being a former social worker and learning about CASA from her mother-in-law, an advocate in upstate New York for a decade, Tayler started volunteering with CASA Youth Advocates in Delaware County. Over the years, Tayler went from being an advocate to joining the staff as a member of the Development team.
“My kids were getting older, and I wanted to get back to work,” said the mother of two. “I had previously done fundraising, so I thought this would be an excellent way to use my skill set. Having experience as an advocate was also helpful when talking to donors because I could share my story and speak from experience.
Although she resigned from the Development Team in late 2021 to pursue a career in real estate, Tayler has remained a supporter of the organization, as well as an active advocate. Because of her dedication to CASA’s mission and the children being served, Tayler has been named the 2023 Advocate of the Year.
In the summer of 2021, Tayler became an advocate for Nate, a young boy with life threatening medical issues. Because Tayler had previously advocated on a medically complex case, she understood how to navigate Nate’s case and work toward the best outcome. Unfortunately, Nate’s medical condition worsened, and he was hospitalized for a month before his untimely passing in May 2023. During his hospitalization, Tayler visited him daily, often spending between three and 10 hours at his bedside. She was there with Nate at the time of his death.
“Like many of our advocates, Tayler works full-time and has children of her own. Her ability to do it all amazes me,” said Tayler’s Case Supervisor, Bron DiSalvia.
While in the hospital, Tayler was there to read his favorite books, play his favorite Christmas songs, and provide comfort. She was also there to advocate for him when changes to his medical plan occurred.
“I was lucky to support him through his last phase of life,” she said. “It mattered that CASA could be there for him and support him. He was not alone. I tried to make it as comfortable as possible for him.”
Tayler knows Nate’s case was complex and unique and wants future advocates to see they do not need special training or background to be a CASA. The most important thing new advocates can provide is themselves.
“Be present. Anybody could do the work. We all come with different skill sets. Whatever you bring to the table will be helpful.”