CASA of Cook County Announces 2008 Accomplishments and Benchmarks

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Court Appointed Special Advocates represented more than 600 abused and neglected children

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Our goal for 2009 is to recruit 120 new volunteers

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Cook County announced it has exceeded its goals for fiscal year 2008, representing and serving more than 600 abused and neglected children. CASA of Cook County also met a benchmark for effectiveness of services with the court agreeing with an Advocate's permanency recommendation in 95% of all CASA cases.

"In 2008, nearly 300 CASA volunteers advocated for more than 600 children in Cook County; while we are pleased to have exceeded our goals for this year, we have even higher goals for 2009 which include increasing the number of volunteers by more than 10 percent to serve a 20 percent increase in children needing advocates," said Lanetta Haynes, Executive Director of CASA of Cook County. "The need is great and so is our commitment to giving abused and neglected children a voice in the court system, and securing safe and permanent homes for them."

CASA of Cook County 2008 Accomplishments:

  • CASA of Cook County exceeded its goal advocating for children: 291 volunteers advocated for 638 abused and neglected children.
  • CASA of Cook County reached the benchmark determining the effectiveness of its services: the court entered a permanency order consistent with an Advocate's recommendation in 95% of all CASA cases.
  • The National CASA Association named CASA of Cook County Board Member Jessie Macdonald Board Member of the Year.
  • CASA of Cook County chosen to receive the prestigious statewide 2008 National City Children's Champion Award. National City recognized CASA for exemplary contributions to improving the safety, health care, education and nurturing of Illinois' children. CASA received a $10,000 grant.
  • CASA of Cook County and CASA of Lake County volunteer Pat Braskich chosen to receive the 2008 Illinois CASA Advocate of the Year award.
  • $80,000 raised during 2nd annual Cocktails for CASA fundraising event, supporting critical advocacy programs. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan received the first annual Light of Hope Award for her exceptional commitment to improving the lives of abused and neglected children.
  • CASA of Cook County completed new three year strategic plan.

"Our goal for 2009 is to recruit 120 new volunteers," said Haynes. "We encourage people with an interest in helping children to consider volunteering as a CASA Advocate or become a member of the CASA Friends Network. We welcome volunteers from all cultural, professional, ethnic and educational background, and we have a particular need for bilingual volunteers, men and people of color. We appreciate all our volunteers; they make a tremendous difference in the lives of children, one child at a time."

To learn more about volunteering, the screening process and in-depth training provided to volunteers, visit

About CASA of Cook County:
For more than 20 years, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Cook County has been helping abused and neglected children involved in the Juvenile Court and foster care system of Cook County. CASA of Cook County provides caring volunteer advocates to make a life-long difference for children. Advocates are appointed by a judge and assigned to one case at a time, serving as an independent voice for abused and neglected children in court. Volunteers advocate for safe, permanent homes for these children to break the cycle of abuse and neglect. CASA volunteers help ensure that children receive appropriate services and treatment by independently monitoring a child's situation, identifying community resources, and participating in the court process. For more information, visit .


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Vanessa Reese

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