The annual breakfast fundraiser for CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, drew me out of bed earlier than I almost ever get during the week.
Yesterday, the gist of the talk by McHenry County Sheriff’s Sgt. Hector Garza was shared with readers.
Today, an attempt will be made to tell what recently-retired McHenry County Circuit Judge Maureen McIntyre said.
She retired after twenty years, mainly in Juvenile Court, I think.
And after her litany of the horrors she faced day after day, I can understand why she wanted to retire she served the twenty years needed to max out her pensions.
Her exposition of the situations came in a series of staccato sentences sounding like clusters of semi-automatic gun shots.
McIntyre’s delivery was that effective.
Sex abuse, physical abuse, parents stung out on drugs, babies born to addicted mothers.
You name what could go wrong in a family to a child and McIntyre faced it in her courtroom.
By the time I found a piece of paper (the one on the table explaining that 147 abused and neglected kids were served by CASA in 2016 and that about 200 juveniles are involved in court proceedings every year), McIntyre was talking about foster parents.
“They are not all wonderful.”
She explained that CASA volunteers “report these things to the Court.”
They “provide factual input.”
“Many of the children are suspect of the [DCFS] case worker [and] the lawyer.”
She told that many children form a strong bond with their Advocate.
“It is evident in court.”
Sometimes the CASA is the only constant in their lives.
“They are there for them.”
She told of one child asking, “Are you coming back?” as the CASA was leaving her courtroom.
“Each simple act of kindness creates an endless ripple,” McIntyre concluded.
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Additional child advocates are needed.
You can get more information here.
Additional funding is needed as well.
- $50 pays for the cost of training materials for oen volunteer
- $250 pays for the cost of training a volunteer
- $500 pays for a month’s support communication between CASA and the court.
- $1,250 pays for the cost to support a child for six months.
- $,2500 pays for the cost to provide one child a CASA for a year.
You can donate here.