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In the Community

Nov1

In the Community: Featuring Partner AnneElise Goetz

In her free time, AnneElise Goetz dedicates her efforts to organizations focused on empowering young women to seek leadership roles in the fields of law, government and business. She also is active with Voices for Children and has served in several leadership roles since 2015. She is currently chair-elect of the Board and will begin her term as Chairwoman of the Board in 2020. Here’s more from AnneElise:

What is the mission of Voices for Children? How does it benefit the community?

The mission of Voices for Children is to transform the lives of abused children by providing them with a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). Although some CASAs are also attorneys, no legal background is needed; Voices trains its volunteers to prepare them for the courts and the needs of their children. Ultimately it is our belief that every child deserves the chance to reach their potential – CASA volunteers ensure foster children’s needs are met and help them find a safe permanent home while also serving as a loving stable presence in their life, which for most of these kids, this is the first time they have an adult fill that role. It is an amazing thing to know that with as little as 10-15 hours a month, you can transform a child’s life.

What accomplishments of Voices for Children are you most proud of?

It’s hard to point to one accomplishment. More than 9,000 children spend time in San Diego and Riverside County foster care systems each year. They are innocent victims who have been taken away from their homes through no fault of their own. Once removed, the children are under court jurisdiction until a judge determines the home is safe for return. If reunification can’t occur, the child continues to live in foster care until an adoption or guardianship can be arranged. Sadly, many children are never adopted and spend their childhoods in foster care. We serve those kiddos. To me, each one of those children served is an accomplishment and its why I am so proud to be involved with Voices.

Why did you become involved with Voices for Children?

My grandfather was orphaned at a young age but he, unlike many others, successfully pulled himself out of the system and went on to become an attorney and a judge. His docket included the dependency foster cases as well as adoptions. It was a topic we regularly discussed at the dinner table while I was growing up: helping to protect the most vulnerable members of our community – foster kids. There are many ways to assist these kids; however, I have always believed that the constant presence of an adult figure and a voice in the court system, are the real game changers in the foster system, which is why I wanted to get involved in a CASA based organization. Voices is the only nationally certified CASA organization in San Diego County and it is the fourth largest CASA organization in the country.

What is the mission of the organization? How does it benefit the community?

The mission of the organization is to transform the lives of abused children by providing them with a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).   Although some CASAs are also attorneys, no legal background is needed, Voices trains its volunteers to prepare them for the courts and the needs of their children.  Ultimately it is our belief that every child deserves the chance to reach their potential – CASA volunteers ensure foster children’s needs are met and help them find a safe permanent home while also serving as  a loving stable presence in their life… which for most of these kids, this is the first time they have an adult fill that role.  It is an amazing thing to know that with as little as 10-15 hours a month, you can transform a child’s life.

What accomplishments has this organization made that you are most proud of?

It’s hard to point to one accomplishment. More than 9,000 children spend time in San Diego and Riverside County foster case systems each year. They are innocent victims who have been taken away from their homes through no fault of their own. Once removed, the children are under Court jurisdiction until a judge determines the home is safe for return. If reunification can’t occur, the child continues to live in foster care until an adoption or guardianship can be arranged. Sadly, many children are never adopted and spend their childhoods in foster care. We serve those kiddos. To me, each one of those children served is an accomplished and its why I am so proud to be involved with Voices.