CASA of DuPage County Seeks Child Advocacy Volunteers

September 13, 2022
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CASA of DuPage County advocates for the best interests of children who have been abused, neglected, and dependent in the DuPage County court system. This is accomplished by recruiting, training and supervising community volunteers who are appointed by the Juvenile Court Judge to be a child’s Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). The DuPage CASA vision is that every child deserves a safe, permanent, nurturing home.

The children served by CASA of DuPage County have been removed from their unsafe homes because of abuse or neglect. When a child is removed from their home, their world changes drastically and often finds them living with strangers, going to new schools, and left with few of their belongings. They are afraid, alone, and unsure who to trust.

Volunteer advocates visit with the child, monitor their safety, and report to the court so the Judge can make informed decision on the well-being of the child. After the information is presented to the court, the Judge may issue a court order outlining specific services for the child to receive, such as healthcare or counseling. The volunteer advocate remains with each case for the entire time they remain in foster care, which averages about three years. This is an arduously long time in the life of a child. During this time the CASA connects with natural parents, foster parents, as well as teachers and other important people in the child’s life to understand and advocate for their best interests.

The CASA concept was founded in 1977, when Superior Court Judge David Soukup of Seattle was frustrated that the attorneys and child welfare workers did not have the detailed information that he needed to make life-changing decisions for each child. He conceived the idea of training community volunteers who would be asked to make long-term commitments and take the time to learn about each child’s needs, family, and living situation, and help ensure their best interests are being met.

Years later, the CASA program in DuPage County was incorporated in 1993 to assist the court in making critical decisions about the welfare and permanency needs of each child. In 2022, a total of 381 children were served in DuPage County by 150 advocates. CASA is proud to continue to meet the need of 100% of children entering the DuPage County juvenile court system by providing each child a trained volunteer advocate, despite the challenges we have faced in the past few years. For more information, please visit their website or call 630-221-0889.

Spotlight Guests

Tammy Cetina, Staff Advocate Supervisor

Keisha Akins, Volunteer Advocate

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