by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photos by Soul of Photography

Speaking up for Kids

volunteer_wolfe2When Cecilia Wolfe retired from practicing law to stay home with her three children, she was looking for a volunteer opportunity in which she could give back to the community. In her search, Cecilia was introduced to Voices for Children, a local nonprofit organization that recruits and trains Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) who advocate on behalf of foster children. “Although a legal background isn’t required to be a CASA, it was an area that felt comfortable for me and where I thought my training could be helpful,” recalled Cecilia. “I also knew I wanted to focus on an area that involved children.”

Flash forward many years later, and Cecilia has become an avid volunteer for Voices for Children. “CASAs act as fact-finders for the judges in an overburdened system providing them with information about the child and their circumstances so that the judge can make a determination as to what is in the best interests of the child,” Cecilia explained. “The CASA’s role is to consider what is in the child’s best interest and to make sure that each child’s individual needs are met.”

Name: Cecilia Wolfe
Community: Rancho Santa Fe
Volunteer Affiliation: Voices for Children
Family: Husband – Scott; three grown children and two grandchildren
Hobbies: Reading, spending time with my family, volunteering, and rowing

volunteer_wolfe3Cecilia’s favorite part about being a CASA is building trusting relationships with the children and watching them thrive. But being a CASA, she explained, also comes with its share of challenges. “Sometimes (the challenges) are logistical, such as finding the time to meet and/or spend time with your foster child as well as meeting with the other parties involved,” said Cecilia. “Sometimes gaining trust with your child can be difficult as a lot of these children have terrible forms of abuse in their backgrounds that make it difficult for them to trust adults.” Fortunately, Voices for Children provides their CASA volunteers with a great amount of support and thorough training to help them overcome these challenges.

As for her biggest accomplishment in volunteering with the organization, Cecilia replied, “I had one case in particular in which it seemed clear that the child would be best served by being adopted by the foster parents. There were some roadblocks along the way, but eventually it was very moving to be able to attend her adoption hearing and small party to celebrate her becoming a permanent member of this family she loved so much.”

Cecilia urges others to get involved. “Voices can always use volunteers as there are many more foster children in the system than there are CASAs,” added Cecilia. “I promise, if you are looking for a way to make a positive impact in a child’s life and give back to our community, you will not regret becoming involved with Voices for Children.”

Group: Voices for Children
Mission: Voices for Children transforms the lives of abused children in San Diego County by providing them with volunteer Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs).
Contact: 858-569-2019
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