March 2018
The Child's Voice
Dear CASA Supporter

I am continually proud of the remarkable perseverance of our dedicated volunteer advocates. We are reminded daily of the dangers and challenges faced by the children we serve and all children across our country. As author Karen Quindlen wrote:
“Keeping children safe must be everybody's business. CASA volunteers play a unique role on behalf of some of our most vulnerable children. Their commitment, vigilance and persistence offer hope where there has been little. They help to light the way for these children—and for all of us."  
I’d like to share the story of one of our of Volunteer Advocates and the children she represented. It is an experience that may sound familiar to our CASA volunteers - walking into a cautious, skeptical family only to eventually find partners in a common goal: the best interests of precious children.

Whether a donor, volunteer, or supporter of CASA's mission, YOU are a key part of CASA Lake County's success in growing to serve every child in need by providing a trained and caring advocate, like the one in the story below, to stand beside them.
Warm regards,
Terri Zenner Greenberg
Executive Director
A Hopeful, New Start for Three Children and Their Grandparents
It’s been over three years since I first met my CASA family and I am delighted to see the case end with an adoption! I started out scared and unsure of what to expect accepting a case that was Spanish speaking; I studied Spanish in school but am far from fluent. The family was just as unsure of me at the beginning. We turned a corner when, a few months in, I told Grandma that I was sorry my Spanish was so poor and asked her to help me learn. Her face lit up!

The family was dealing with the trauma associated with the death of child due to abuse: the 3 remaining siblings then came into DCFS care and were placed with their grandparents. The kids were very young at the time. One was two years old, another five months old, and a third who entered the foster home at birth the following year. The grandparents had always shown a commitment to these children, but it wasn’t an easy road. Their limited English made it hard to connect with the school or other families. It also made understanding the legal process even more difficult than usual. 
CASA children, grandparents, and Judge Valerie Ceckowski at adoption hearing
After about a year the family began to see me as an ally and someone who was available to support them. The kids would greet me with big smiles and hugs. With my encouragement and support, the grandparents were able to navigate through a very confusing system of state organizations and educational programs. These children had multiple developmental and educational needs which required speech and developmental therapies, which later transferred to services through the school system. 
I intentionally affirmed the good work the grandparents were doing: how the adults worked together to care for kids, how the kids shared and cooperated with each other, relaying to the grandparents the good things I heard from therapists working with the family. Now the children have permanency and have been adopted by their grandparents who are comfortable speaking up for them, advocating for their needs and ensuring they get the support and services they need and deserve. 

Susan - CASA Volunteer since 2014
2018 Annual Workshop - Mental Health First Aid
On Friday, February 23rd, the Lake County Health Department opened its doors to host participants for CASA Lake County's 2018 Annual Workshop.

The workshop centered on training to provide initial help to young people experiencing problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse disorders, and psychosis. Instructors from the Lake County Health Department guided participants through an engaging program using role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis, select interventions to provide initial assistance, and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

Those in attendance represented Lake County Staff as well as participants from Illinois CASA and Boone, DuPage, Lake, McHenry,and Will county CASA programs. In all, 52 people, including 34 CASA Lake County volunteers, received certifications in Youth Mental Health First Aid and 12 CEUs.
2018 CASA Gala
InterContinental Chicago
Saturday, May 12 at 6 p.m.
The 2018 CASA Gala is just around the corner, and we hope to see you there. Sponsorships and individual tickets are available now. Follow the link above to view options and information about this fabulous evening.

Contact Brendan at bsiegfried@casalakecounty.com with any questions.
You can make a difference!
Help CASA Lake County focus on recruiting, training, and supporting volunteers by joining our monthly giving program, the Champions for Children. 

For a suggested $20 per month, you can help abused and neglected children find a safe, permanent, and nurturing home. 
CASA Lake County's 2018 Mission Partners
700 Forest Edge Drive
Vernon Hills, Illinois 60061

www.casalakecounty.com
847.383.6260