San Diego-based nonprofit organization Voices for Children said May 11 that longtime CEO Sharon M. Lawrence would be leaving the organization in November to head up the California CASA Association in Oakland.
Lawrence has been president and CEO of Voices for Children, which recruits, trains and supervises volunteer court-appointed special advocates (CASAs) for foster children, since January 1997.
During her tenure, Voices for Children grew from serving 529 foster children with 219 CASAs and a budget of $400,000 to one of the three largest CASA programs in the nation with a budget of $6 million. In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, Voices plans to serve 3,300 foster children and recruit, train and supervise 1,600 CASA volunteers in San Diego and Riverside counties.
“This is a bittersweet moment. I am so proud of Voices for Children and the work that our CASAs and staff do every day to help boys and girls in foster care. But I leave Voices for Children in good hands — led by an extraordinary board of directors and a brilliant staff of 75 individuals committed to making life better for foster children in San Diego and Riverside counties,” Lawrence said. “I believe that CalCASA is an organization poised for growth, and I look forward to expanding my service to foster children across California through my new statewide role. My vision is that it will be an effective partner for all of the state’s local CASA programs in ways that will enhance their growth and development.”
Voices for Children said it has launched a national search for a new CEO. Lawrence’s last day is Nov. 1.