Six volunteers from Morris and Sussex Counties were recently sworn in as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) by The Honorable Catherine I. Enright, Presiding Family Court Judge of the Morris/Sussex Vicinage. The ceremony was held at the Morris County Courthouse in Morristown. The new volunteers include Ronald Cattafi (Whippany), Elizabeth Gorrell (Bedminster), Katherine Megrue-Smith (Bernardsville), Anne-Claire Riehl (Mendham), Paula Tyson (Flanders) and Katerina Zambrano (Mountain Lakes). These community members are volunteers for CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, a local non-profit organization. CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties trains and supervises community volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect.
Essentially, CASA volunteers “speak up” for these children in court, making sure they are receiving the services they need, and are placed in a permanent, safe, and nurturing home as soon as possible. CASA volunteers make recommendations to the court to further the child’s physical, psychological, and educational well-being. CASA volunteer advocates participated in an extensive 36 hour training program before officially being sworn in to be assigned to a child in the foster care system. Prior to the swearing in ceremony, volunteers and their guests gathered at the CASA office in Morristown for a welcome reception. These individuals have made an extraordinary commitment to serve as advocates and positive role models to vulnerable children in Morris and Sussex Counties. “Swearing In ceremonies are an important event as we connect new volunteers to our CASA Family. Our CASA volunteer advocates are the heart and soul of our organization. They are passionate and dedicated to bringing better tomorrows to vulnerable children,” said Dr. Lisa Firkser, Executive Director of CASA.