Children in our community are entering the child welfare system at an alarming rate. These children are victims of child abuse and neglect stemming from a myriad of causes – e.g., substance abuse, homelessness, domestic violence, and mental health concerns for both children and parents. A team of community members is dedicated to making a difference in these kids’ lives – they are Court Appointed Special Advocates.
A new class of CASA volunteers recently completed the six-week/30-hour training program. These individuals have a heart for children in our community and want to make sure that abused and neglected children do not get lost in the court system. These eight new volunteers will join a team of more than 150 advocates who provide a voice for children involved in child abuse and neglect cases by advocating for their best interests and making recommendations to the court regarding placement of children and services to assist both children and parents.
A Swearing-In Ceremony for these new volunteers was held at the Allen County Courthouse Rotunda on Tuesday, October 4.
Judge Lori Morgan presided over the ceremony. Judge Morgan was appointed by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb to serve as Judge of the Allen Superior Court Family Relations Division on May 18, 2021. Prior to her appointment as Judge, she served as a Magistrate in the Family Division since 1995. Judge Morgan received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her law degree from the University of Iowa. Prior to her appointment as a Magistrate, she was in private practice where she primarily practiced family law. While in private practice, she also served as a Guardian Ad Litem for children in Children In Need of Services (CHINS) proceedings before the Allen Superior Court.
This event was sponsored by the Allen County CASA Coalition, a not-for-profit that focuses its efforts toward recruitment, training, and supporting volunteers.
Allen County CASA is affiliated with the Indiana State Office of GAL/CASA, which is part of the Indiana Supreme Court, Division of State Court Administration. Allen County CASA is certified by the State Office and complies with the Indiana Supreme Court Program Standards and Code of Ethics for GAL/CASA programs. Allen County CASA is also a member of the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association. Anyone interested in becoming an advocate for children should contact Nancy Springer, Director, at (260) 449-7190.