CASA volunteers sworn in

MORRISTOWN. The new volunteers will ‘speak up’ for vulnerable children in court.

| 27 Jun 2024 | 09:51

A group of community volunteers were sworn in as Court Appointed Special Advocates by Judge Michael Wright on May 17 at the Morris County Courthouse.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Morris and Sussex Counties, a nonprofit organization, trains and supervises community volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect or abandonment.

The new volunteers will “speak up” for vulnerable children in court and ensure that they receive the medical and educational resources they need to heal and thrive.

The new volunteers include Nancy Bigelsen of Mountain Lakes, Bridget Burke of Bernardsville, Lynne Ann Collier of Madison, Julie Jacobs of West Milford, Pascale Jean of Florham Park, Penny Mavridis Sales of Madison, Liane Moschella of Chester, Andrea Pinho of Cedar Knolls, Kerri Popson of Mendham, Diane Possumato of Morristown, Lisa Rowe of Branchville, Donna Savitt of Randolph, Erica Stealey of Randolph, Melissa Stern of Chester, Amy Thompson-Hill of Mountain Lakes, Thomas Tignor of Mendham and Stephanie Vigil of Denville.

The CASA volunteers participated in a 36-hour training program before officially being sworn in to be assigned to a child in the foster care system. They also will attend regularly scheduled training workshops to strengthen their advocacy efforts throughout their time with CASA.

CASA volunteers visit with the child regularly, attend court hearings and school meetings, and meet with all parties involved in the child’s case. They report their findings to the court and make recommendations for the child’s best interest.

“Our volunteers pledge to advocate for each child until the case is closed, and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home,” said Lisa Barsky Firkser, executive director of CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties.

“The advocate is often the only consistent adult presence in the child’s life. CASA advocates are the heart and soul of our organization.”