Seven new volunteers join CASA Lake County

  • Seven new CASA Lake County volunteers pose with two CASA staff members and 19th Circuit Court Judge Marnie M. Slavin at the swearing-in ceremony.

    Seven new CASA Lake County volunteers pose with two CASA staff members and 19th Circuit Court Judge Marnie M. Slavin at the swearing-in ceremony. Courtesy of Nicoleta Girloanta

 
 
Updated 9/21/2023 9:00 AM

Seven new volunteer advocates were sworn in on Sept. 14 by the Lake County Juvenile Court to help protect children in foster care from abuse and neglect by advocating for their best interests.

The Court Appointed Special Advocates include Ann Swanson of Gurnee, Sophia Williams of Lake Villa, Helen Lee of Long Grove, Sarah Murphy of Palatine, Laura Foster of Lake Villa, Kelsie Dam of Spring Grove and Kathy Reibel of Lincolnshire.

 

Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Judge Marnie M. Slavin presided over the induction ceremony.

The new CASAs join a force of more than 300 volunteer advocates who work with CASA Lake County, a nonprofit based in Vernon Hills. The volunteers support and advocate for children who have endured abuse or neglect in Lake County.

The goal of CASAs is to give a voice to children and their unique needs, so that they can ultimately have a safe and permanent home.

CASAs build caring, long-term relationships with each child in their assigned cases, as well as with caregivers and service providers. CASAs inform the court regarding issues that are impacting a child and recommend actions and interventions.

CASAs advocate within the social service and judicial systems to ensure that the best interest of each child is served.

Currently, Lake County's CASA volunteers serve more children than any other CASA program in the state of Illinois.

"We are fortunate to have the staff and volunteer capacity to serve nearly all of the Lake County children who need a CASA right now." said Terri Zenner Greenberg, executive director of CASA Lake County.

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Although being a CASA volunteer can have its challenges, the benefits, and the positive impact one can have is profound. CASA volunteers stand up for the child(ren) who needs them and help contribute to a brighter future.

CASA volunteers must successfully complete an in-depth, 40-hour training program. This includes specialized training for in-home visitation, increased communication and referrals for family resources, and making recommendations to the court about a child's best interests related to physical and mental health, education, family placement and more. Over the past few years, the training has been conducted online.

For more information, or to volunteer, visit casalakecounty.com or contact Lori Petersen at lpetersen@casalakecounty.com.

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