March is Women’s History Month, and we are so excited to celebrate some of the amazing women who have impacted our organization over the last 35 years!
First up is Jill Jolliff! Jill is a former Executive Director, and has recently rejoined the CASA team to help with administrative tasks.
CASA: What brought you to CASA?
JJ: There’s no exciting story here, I’m afraid. My experience was in non-profit administration, specifically in human services. Child welfare was a great fit and CASA was the right opportunity at the right time. I have never looked back!
CASA: What is the biggest change you’ve seen since you first started working for CASA?
JJ: It’s hard to identify a single change, of course, but overall I would say the policy and political changes that impact how DCS operates, and consequently, how CASA must operate. State policies have shifted back and forth, and over time, have resulted in a tremendous increase in the number of children needing the advocacy of a CASA volunteer. Kristin has had her hands full!
CASA: Did you face any major obstacles during your time as CASA Director? If so, what were they and how did you overcome them?
JJ: Adequate funding was consistently the biggest struggle. Although the frontline services are provided by volunteers, the agency is run by a team of remarkable professionals who recruit, train, supervise, and support those volunteers. Our services are cost-efficient, but certainly not free. Because our work is conducted under strict confidentiality, it’s hard for the community to know the good work we are doing and the support we need to carry it out, which makes fundraising particularly challenging. We overcome this situation (still) by maintaining a constant focus on it, with a special emphasis on public awareness, and finding innovative and varied sources of support.
CASA: Do you have a hidden talent or fun fact that most people don’t know about you?
JJ: I really can’t think of anything, but I hate to think what you would uncover if you talked to my closest friends!