Have you ever had a dream in which you try to speak, and there are no words? You strain, trying to get something, anything, to come out, but you have no voice. No one in your dream can hear you.
In your dream, you get a sense of how important those words are. Your ability to express joy, sadness and fear is suddenly taken from you.
Now take a moment and picture a small child in a neglected or abusive environment. Where is their voice? Who can hear their expression of sadness and fear?
Luckily in Ogle, Lee and Carroll counties, those children have access to their voices – Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), whose volunteers advocate for the best interests of children in the juvenile court system.
CASA volunteers gather objective information and report to the courts regularly on the status of each child. This information is used by the judge to determine whether children should be reunified with their families or prepared for adoption.
Help support our 15th Judicial Circuit CASA by visiting the website www.casaleecarroll.com, where you can learn about becoming an advocate, or supporting the vital cause through donations. We can all be a voice for abused and neglected children in our communities.
Note to readers – Darin DeHaan is a member of CASA's 15th Judicial Circuit Board of Directors.