For Heather DeWolf, it was a song that led her to help children whose families are in crisis. The song is called “Broken Home” by Sawyer Fredericks.
“When I first heard that song, I was hit so hard. I was a mess,” she explained. “I heard it over the next four nights and every single time it hit me so hard. I started to question why I was being impacted by this song. The story he told happens to kids all the time and it hurt my heart so I decided I need to do something and get involved somehow.”
The next day, Heather turned to google in search of volunteer opportunities with Southern Colorado’s children. What she found was CASA and she immediately began training to become a Supervised Exchange & Parenting Time (SEPT) Program facilitator.
“It dawned on me that what I had done was discover my passion, discover my purpose,” she said.
Heather works as a sign language interpreter with students at one of the region’s largest high schools. But from babysitting to being a preschool teacher, and from mothering to running an in-home daycare, the California native has always nurtured children in some capacity. So when she was sworn in as an officer of the court in the Fourth Judicial District, it was a natural progression.
As a SEPT facilitator, Heather supervises visits between children and non-custodial parents. In other words, she protects kids while giving them an opportunity to build positive relationships with their parents.
“These are just regular people who have made some mistakes and they’re trying to make things better,” she said.
She remembers a three-year-old boy who hadn’t seen his father for some time. When it came time for the first visit, the child was afraid and the father was devastated. Heather was able to suggest activities that helped the boy warm up to dad.
“By the time the visit was over, he was smiling. I sat with the family again the following week and it was a totally different boy coming through the doors… He took off and jumped into this dad’s arms and he laughed and had a smile on his face.”
Heather enjoys seeing families reconnect and rebuild relationships. She says she gets an unexplainable satisfaction out of her work.
Her advice to others?
“Do it. It’s good for your heart. It’s good for a child. You’re doing something good for a kid.”
She even follows that advice herself. In addition to being a SEPT facilitator, sign language interpreter, and attentive grandmother to two amazing boys, Heather recently completed training to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate and she’s now working her first case as a CASA.