Volunteer Spotlight: Bobbi Blanton

by | Mar 24, 2024 | Spotlight

A friend introduced Bobbi to a child welfare program in Allegan County about 10 years ago. Bobbi suspected Kent County, her home, must have a similar program and began researching. After a quick search, she discovered CASA of Kent County. She attended an information session and was struck by the reality of child abuse and neglect.

From her first introduction to CASA, Bobbi knew she wanted to be involved. In 2019, after careful consideration, Bobbi started taking steps to become a volunteer. During her many hours of CASA training, Bobbi gained a new perspective about the goal of the foster care system: to reunify families whenever safely possible. Prior to her involvement with CASA, she wasn’t always aware of the complexities that removing children from their home entails and how it always causes additional trauma.

After being sworn in as an officer of the court, Bobbi became an official CASA volunteer and chose her first case with two teen girls. That day, she received an intimidating, heavy, 2-inch-thick case file. Bobbi’s initial apprehension at taking on such a complicated case turned into determination. She knew she was facing a challenge but was willing to step up to the plate because these teens needed her advocacy.

Throughout her time as a CASA, Bobbi has been exposed to the heartache of the foster care and child welfare system. This motivated her to stay committed to her case. At first, gaining the trust of her CASA children was a challenging process, as it is for many volunteers who advocate for teens. It took time and patience but was well worth it. Along with gaining the trust of her girls, Bobbi has loved being a supportive person for young women who have previously lacked consistency in their lives. One of Bobbi’s most memorable moments as a CASA was watching one of her CASA children graduate from high school. Now that young woman is in college.

Having been the advocate for the two teens since 2020, Bobbi knows she made the right choice to become a court appointed special advocate. When asked what she would say to prospective CASA volunteers, Bobbi remarked that advocacy is hard, but also such an incredibly worthwhile and “rewarding experience.”

Thank you, Bobbi, for your commitment to the mission and vision of CASA.

This story is featured in the Spring 2024 edition of CASA connect, CASA of Kent County’s quarterly newsletter. Click here to view a pdf version of this newsletter.

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