Coffee with CASA – From Your House!

Join us on May 12th at 8 a.m. for Coffee with CASA from your house! If you’ve been thinking about becoming a CASA, this is a great time to learn more, ask questions, and chat with current CASA volunteers about what the role is really like! And the best part of all? You can join in from the comfort of your own home, with your coffee made just the way you like it! As of May 4th, 49 children were waiting for a CASA volunteer to become available. The need for volunteers is growing, so we hope you’ll drop in and consider joining our June training! Please email Amber Shride for more information and to have the Zoom link sent to...

A Note From Our Director

To all of our friends and supporters, You are an important member of the Monroe County CASA team. Your support is what keeps our doors open, albeit figuratively during these challenging times. I want to assure you that your investment in the advocacy work our volunteers give to the abused children in our community is being put to your intended use.  The board of directors and I want to assure you that we are stretching every dollar as far as possible while making sure that the children of Monroe County are protected. We have cancelled all upcoming events, but we hope to reschedule those in the fall, once larger gatherings are considered safe. These are extremely vulnerable times for the children we serve. Our volunteers are unable to have in person contact. The Department of Child Services is making very minimal in person contact and for some none at all. The kids are not in school where the teachers can have eyes on them. Service providers have had to cut back contact as well. Most concerning, the courts are not open for hearings. Many of the kids are in their homes with parents who are more stressed that ever before. On top of the issues that brought them into the child welfare system, the parents have lost income, have confined children to parent contact 24 hours a day, and many do not have the skill set to aid in their education. The children in foster care are now very limited in the contact they have with their parents. The additional trauma that creates is unmeasurable. All of this may...

2020 Statistics – As of 3/30/2020

Current Statistics – March 30, 2020 Number of children who have a CASA -336 Number of children waiting for a CASA – 32 Number of advocates – 150  
Coffee with CASA

Coffee with CASA

Coffee with CASA July 11th Join us for Coffee with CASA on July 11th from 7:30 – 9 a.m. at the Monroe County CASA office (201 N. Morton).  Monroe County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) provides advocacy for children that are involved in abuse or neglect cases in the Monroe County court system.  If you have ever considered becoming a CASA volunteer or board member, now is the time!  Join us over coffee and bagels to ask questions, talk to current CASA volunteers and learn more about what it is like to advocate for a child.  For more information call 812-333-CASA or visit www.monroecountycasa.org....
Women’s History Month – Judge Frances Hill

Women’s History Month – Judge Frances Hill

  Why did you decide to start the CASA Program in Monroe County and what was that process like? Frances Hill: In 1980 I was appointed by Monroe County Circuit Court Judge James Dixon to serve as the Juvenile Referee hearing all cases of Juvenile Delinquency (status acts and crimes by persons under 18) and civil child abuse and neglect cases referred to as Child In Need of Services (CHINS) cases. It was a natural fit for my interests and passions. Prior to that, I studied sociology and education at Purdue, worked in Whitley County as a child welfare worker, and completed IU law school. The 1980s were an exciting and challenging time in Indiana family and juvenile law. The judiciary was still reviewing the 1974 federal Child Abuse and Prevention Treatment Act (CAPTA) requiring the appointment of Guardians Ad Litem for children as a condition to federal funding. Indiana had recently revamped its juvenile code, creating greater protections for children and parents, including the Guardian Ad Litem concept to advocate for the best interest of children, separate from the Department of Welfare. Eli Lilly and the Indiana and National Bar Associations were watching model programming for child advocacy develop on the west coast. This programming utilized non-lawyer volunteers (called Court Appointed Special Advocates-CASAs) to research and advocate for the best interest of children in juvenile court cases. This was new stuff. The use of volunteers made child advocacy more affordable, but there was no track record for how volunteers would fair in our legal system and no system in place for funding or program development. About this time,...
Women’s History Month – Jill Jolliff

Women’s History Month – Jill Jolliff

March is Women’s History Month, and we are so excited to celebrate some of the amazing women who have impacted our organization over the last 35 years! First up is Jill Jolliff! Jill is a former Executive Director, and has recently rejoined the CASA team to help with administrative tasks. CASA: What brought you to CASA? JJ: There’s no exciting story here, I’m afraid.  My experience was in non-profit administration, specifically in human services.  Child welfare was a great fit and CASA was the right opportunity at the right time.  I have never looked back! CASA: What is the biggest change you’ve seen since you first started working for CASA? JJ: It’s hard to identify a single change, of course, but overall I would say the policy and political changes that impact how DCS operates, and consequently, how CASA must operate.  State policies have shifted back and forth, and over time, have resulted in a tremendous increase in the number of children needing the advocacy of a CASA volunteer.  Kristin has had her hands full! CASA: Did you face any major obstacles during your time as CASA Director? If so, what were they and how did you overcome them? JJ: Adequate funding was consistently the biggest struggle.  Although the frontline services are provided by volunteers, the agency is run by a team of remarkable professionals who recruit, train, supervise, and support those volunteers.  Our services are cost-efficient, but certainly not free.  Because our work is conducted under strict confidentiality, it’s hard for the community to know the good work we are doing and the support we need to carry...