by LINDA FRABL | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Foster Child Advocate

Shirley Williams, a PQ mom of four children who is originally from England, has proven that she can nurture greatness in her brood: two of Shirley’s offspring have successfully graduated college, one is currently a junior in college, and her youngest is a senior at Del Norte High School, researching where to go to college. Two of Shirley’s sons are Eagle Scouts, her third son is awaiting his Eagle Scout board of review, and her daughter has achieved her Girl Scout Bronze award.

Always working on behalf of children, Shirley was involved in PTA and education foundations at her children’s schools, but she realized, “I was looking for a new volunteer opportunity, as my children were leaving home and going to college.” After attending an information session for the Voices for Children nonprofit organization, Shirley knew she found a new way to utilize her motherly instincts in a positive and constructive manner.

Name: Shirley Williams
Community: Rancho Peñasquitos
Volunteer Affiliation: Voices for Children
Family: Four children – Tom, Jennifer, Duncan, and Nick
Hobbies: Volunteering, reading, cooking

Founded in 1980, Voices for Children recruits, trains, and supervises Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs), who then advocate for the rights and well-being of foster children. As a CASA, Shirley learns as much as she can about the foster children she’s assigned to, and then actively works towards helping them. Shirley also compiles reports for the judges so they can make informed decisions when determining the needs for each foster child’s particular case.


But being a CASA isn’t all paperwork. Shirley proclaimed, “We get to talk to the children, help them with homework, and make sure they understand the court procedures. In some cases we see that they get to spend time with their siblings if they live in different foster homes. We also get to do fun activities with the children. My current foster children love to go to the library, and we have picnics at Cabrillo National Monument and outings in Balboa Park, plus we go the beach, go hiking, and even fly kites!”
For Shirley, her greatest moment as a CASA is when she can help a child reunite with his or her family and leave foster care for good. Shirley also enjoys getting to know each and every foster child she’s assigned to, and added, “I have been fortunate to meet really great kids. They are kind and thoughtful, at times stubborn and difficult, but always appreciative of the things that we do together.”

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). They believe that every child deserves a safe and permanent home, and to that end will review and monitor every court file in the system, provide a CASA to every child in the foster care system who needs one, and advocate to improve the lives of San Diego County’s foster children.
Phone: 858-569-2019
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