Chelsey Wright’s medical training and ability to speak her mind has made her a dynamic advocate for abused and neglected youth.
Over the course of her career as a pediatric cardiac sonographer, Chelsey has come into contact with many patients in the foster system and has seen firsthand how difficult home circumstances can lead to adverse health outcomes.
When the pandemic descended on Colorado Springs, Chelsey found herself wanting to step in and help the most vulnerable youth in whatever way she could. Through her friends in the Junior League, she was encouraged to join CASA as a volunteer advocate.
“Even though I was trained and sworn in over Zoom, I knew this program was a perfect fit for me,” she said. “I have never had trouble speaking up for others when their circumstances are tough, and my experience working with foster youth in the hospital have set me up well to communicate with the kids and the different entities involved with the case.”
Chelsey’s case is a complex one involving two children, including one with special needs.
“My medical background has given me a comfort in advocating for kids with special needs, and I was able to secure additional medical equipment and a better school enrollment for my CASA child. I also noticed that the other sibling on the case showed signs of developmental delays, and I got her tested and approved for an Independent Education Program (IEP).”
Despite her comfort in being an advocate for youth, being a CASA has pushed Chelsey in a number of ways.
“One of the biggest new experiences for me was doing home visits. I mostly interact with kids in a hospital setting, so entering their space and learning more about them in that way has definitely been a stretch. That said, the support and training I have received from CASA, as well as from the lawyers, judges and Guardian Ad Litems (GALs) on the case have helped to make it a really powerful experience.”
Having children of her own, including her adopted niece, has highlighted the importance of having CASA advocates in the dependency and neglect system.
“Being a working mom, I know how tough parenting can be. That has given me a lot of empathy as I navigate the complicated court systems and reporting processes, and I am grateful for the opportunity to lend my time and expertise to these kids. I’ve spent my career working with children, and this has been by far the most rewarding volunteer experience I have been a part of.”
Chelsey, we are so grateful for all of your contributions as a CASA advocate!