Voice For Children
Clarence Flowers moved to the San Elijo Hills area of San Marcos almost 18 years ago with his wife and two young sons. Those two young sons have since graduated from college and Clarence, who grew up in a large family with 10 siblings, began to feel the effects of the empty nest syndrome. He recalled, “I’m from a super family; even my grandmother had 24 children, which included three sets of twins! I’ve been around children all my life. Now that my own children are adults, I wanted to be a part of helping other, more vulnerable children.”
His wish was granted when his wife showed him an article about the Voices for Children organization, which benefits abused children in the foster care system. The article mentioned that the nonprofit needed more CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers. Clarence realized he found his calling.
Expounding on his CASA responsibilities, Clarence explained, “CASAs are officially appointed by a Juvenile Court judge, advocating on behalf of the foster children’s needs. We gather information from court documents, social workers’ files, and additional records. We also speak with the children, their family members, and other professionals involved in their lives. CASAs then use this information to advocate for these children in court, in school, and in other aspects of their lives.”
CASAs also maintain a close relationship with the foster children they’re assigned to. Meeting with these children at least once a month provides stability and consistency and allows the CASAs to better understand each child’s needs. Clarence elaborated, “Building trust with children who’ve experienced trauma is a long-term endeavor, but it’s incredibly rewarding to be a part of a system that strives to right a wrong and help a child heal. Seeing these children make progress is priceless.”
In addition to his CASA duties, Clarence, who is a biotech supervisor, enjoys hiking, playing golf, cooking, going to the beach, taking motorcycle rides, and, he added, “having a good cup of joe at our local coffeehouses.” As a former resident of Michigan, Clarence is especially grateful for San Diego’s pleasant year-round weather, and he exclaimed, “I’ve been able to expand my outdoor interests. Aren’t we fortunate to live in this beautiful place?” The foster children Clarence advocates for are certainly fortunate for the caring dedication Clarence devotes to them, and that’s what really makes the world a beautiful place.
Name: Clarence Flowers
Community: San Elijo Hills
Volunteer Affiliation: Voices For Children San Diego
Profession: Biotech Supervisor
Family: Married 28 years, two boys ages 23 and 27
Hobbies: Golf, hiking, motorcycling, sampling San Diego cuisine
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.
Upcoming Event: The Real Word, a panel of four young speakers sharing their stories with the community on April 28 and May 27. Learn more and register for the free, open event at www.speakupnow.org/real-word.
Volunteer Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org