FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – 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 volunteers will join a team of more than 100 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 Friday.
Magistrate Lori Morgan will preside over the ceremony. Magistrate Morgan was appointed as Magistrate in the Allen Superior Court Family Relations Division in 1995. She currently serves on the Domestic Relations Committee for the Indiana Judicial Conference and is a member of the Indiana AFCC. She is a former chair of the Indiana Continuing Legal Educational Commission and is a former member of the Indiana Juvenile Bench book and the Juvenile Justice Improvement Committees of the Indiana Judicial Conference. She is a 2005 graduate of the Indiana Judicial College and a 2009 graduate of the Indiana Graduate Program for Judges. In 2005, she was a recipient of an Indiana News Center’s Women in Leadership Award. Magistrate Morgan has, in the past, served as a speaker at the Allen Superior Court’s Annual Conference on Youth and has helped with the training of the Allen County CASA volunteers.
Anyone interested in becoming an advocate for children should contact Adelyn Bhuiya, Volunteer Recruitment Specialist, at (260) 449-7190.