With Surge in Abuse Cases, CASA Kane County Sees Critical Need for Volunteers

A Kane County judge swears in new volunteers with CASA Kane County at a ceremony in 2019. New volunteers are needed as child abuse cases in Kane County are at an all-time high.

POSTED BY THE DAILY HERALD 8/23/2021 2:25 PM

With children back in school, area teachers are faced not only with teaching, but with watching for signs of potential abuse or neglect in their students.

Teachers are trained mandated reporters and look for red-flags of abuse or neglect, but engaged citizens are also encouraged to watch for and report any suspected abuse or neglect.

Unfortunately, child abuse cases in Kane County are at an all-time high and with eyes on children back in school, experts expect the number of cases to continue to climb.

CASA Kane County, which is a nonprofit, volunteer organization which serves every child that comes into the juvenile courts due to abuse or neglect, continues to face a shortage of volunteers.

CASA’s goal is to ensure that each foster child is placed in a safe, permanent home.

A CASA volunteer serves as a sworn officer of the court, whose duty is to represent and advocate for one particular child’s best interests. CASA provides “regular people” the training they need to serve as a CASA/GAL volunteer.

CASA stands for court-appointed special advocate and GAL stands for guardian ad litem.

“No one longs for a safe family more than a child in foster care. As a CASA volunteer, you are empowered by the courts to help make this dream a reality,” says Sandie Cross, CASA’s Director of Education. “Our volunteers are the one consistent adult in these children’s lives, bringing positive change to the lives of these foster youth.”

With the surge in abuse cases following the pandemic, CASA is seeking additional volunteers so that they can continue to serve all children that come into the juvenile court due to abuse and/or neglect.

If you want more information about volunteering, take the first step and attend an online informational meeting from 6 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29; 3 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2; and 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 25. Sign up at casakanecounty.org/general-information-meetings/.

If you are interested in finding out more information on becoming a volunteer, please email Sandie Cross at sandiec@casakanecounty.org or call (630) 443-3131.

To make a report of suspected child abuse or neglect online in a nonemergency situation, visit dcfsonlinereporting.dcfs.illinois.gov.

To make a report by phone, call 1-800-25-ABUSE (800-252-2873). Calls and online reports may be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For all emergency situations, calls should be made to 911.

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