July Advocate Spotlight: Kelley Wolf
Nominated by her CASA Case Supervisor, Victoria Warmuth, Kelley was sworn in as an Advocate in December of 2017. Victoria shares the following about Kelley:
“Kelley is warm-hearted, supportive, and nurturing. She is an educator, and is in school to be a therapist. Kelley is highly collaborative with all involved in her cases and is considerate in her recommendations to the court.”
HOW DID YOU FIRST HEAR ABOUT CASA?
I first heard about CASA when I served on a jury for a case that involved child abuse, and a CASA [Advocate] testified in court. I was intrigued by her role and when the case was over, I decided to look into it for myself.
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THIS CAUSE?
As a teacher and community volunteer, I have always enjoyed working with children. I’ve also always been curious about the legal system. Being a CASA [Advocate] has put those interests together, plus so much more! I have been able to use my knowledge about the school system, as well as my teaching experience, to better advocate for the children I serve. I love playing a part in their lives and celebrating their successes!
WHAT WAS MOST SURPRISING TO YOU ABOUT THE ROLE OF AN ADVOCATE?
What I was not prepared for is being a support for the entire family in my cases. Many times, parents are reluctant to form a relationship with the CASA [volunteer] in the beginning, but as they begin to see that you love and care for their children, trust begins to build. In some cases, they just need someone to believe in them.
IS THERE A PARTICULAR MOMENT OR MEMORY THAT STANDS OUT FOR YOU?
I took my first case in December 2017. My supervisor had asked me to visit the children before the adversary hearing. I drove to a temporary children’s shelter (the only placement available) that was an hour and a half away, not really knowing what to expect. It was a week before Christmas and I couldn’t imagine how these two children felt being so far from home. I expected that my visit with the kids would be short, since they didn’t even know me, but any apprehension they had melted when they saw the CASA bags I brought them and a friendly face. They begged me to stay… and from then I was hooked! I’m still in touch with those children 3 years later, and they still remember me showing up that night with toothpaste and a hair brush.
HOW HAS SERVING AS AN ADVOCATE CHANGED YOU?
I have so enjoyed being a CASA [Advocate] and coming to know the children and families we serve. So many of them are dealing with challenges like addiction, trauma, and mental illness. My work with CASA has inspired me to go back to graduate school to get my counseling license to better serve families like these.