Law & Justice

Press Releases

5 Morristown Residents Sworn In as Advocates for Abused and Neglected Children

On February 23, 2017 volunteers were sworn in as Court Appointed Special Advocates for children at the Morris County Courthouse. Credits: CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties

On February 23, 2017 a group of community volunteers were sworn in as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) by The Honorable Maritza Berdote Byrne. CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, a local non-profit organization, trains and supervises community volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

The new volunteers have made the extraordinary commitment to “speak up” for these vulnerable children in court and to ensure that they receive the medical and educational resources they need to thrive, and most importantly that they find permanent, safe, and nurturing homes in a timely manner.

Family and friends gathered in the Morris County Courthouse to watch the volunteers take an oath agreeing to advocate for the best interest of the child and to perform the role of a judiciary volunteer. The new volunteers include Elaine Backer (Randolph), Agnes Clyne (Morristown), Janet Davis (Morristown), Mary Day (Hamburg), Adele Fasano (Morristown), Theodore Groh (West Milford), Karen Gruss (Long Valley), Dawn Haagensen (Morristown), Stacy Harrison (Bernardsville), Marialena Kearns (Mountain Lakes), Thomas Kelleher (Madison), Mae Noonan (Lake Hiawatha), Mary Owens (Sparta), Lisa Pompey (Sparta), Cecelia Puglio (Sparta), Jeanne Seigle (Morristown), and Michelle Sharpe (Towaco).

Sign Up for E-News

CASA volunteers participate in an extensive 36 hour training program before officially being sworn in to be assigned a child in the foster care system. The CASA volunteers ensure that these vulnerable children receive the educational and medical resources they need to thrive and that they find safe, permanent, loving homes as soon as possible.

CASA volunteers visit with the child regularly attend court hearings, school meetings, and meet with all parties involved in the child’s case. The volunteers report their findings to the judge and make recommendations for the child’s best interest.

“Our volunteers pledge to stay with each child until the case is closed, and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home," said Lisa Barsky Firkser, Executive Director of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Morris and Sussex Counties. "The advocate is often the only consistent adult presence in the child’s life.”



TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


MorrisTech Meetup Receives Award from Morris County EDC

March 20, 2018

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - The innovative and technology driven MorrisTech Meetup has been awarded the 2017 Non-Profit of the Year Award by the Morris County Economic Development Corporation.

"We are thrilled, proud and grateful to receive this award, and convinced more than ever that Morris County is exceptionally suited to be a thriving tech hub", said founder, Chatham ...

Student-Led March for Our Lives to Take Place in Morristown, Mar. 24

March 21, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Morristown and surrounding-area students are planning to participate in a movement called 'March for Our Lives' taking place on Saturday, March 24. Part of a nationwide movement to pass common-sense gun legislation in America, the students plan on gathering in several places across the state of New Jersey, including Morristown, Montclair, Maplewood, ...

National Student Walk Out: MCST Students Have Had #Enough

March 21, 2018

On Wednesday March 14, nearly one million teenagers across the country stood up and walked out of school as part of a nationwide protest calling upon Congress to take action against gun violence. I am proud to have been one of them.

Undeterred by the small size of the school, my friends and classmates at Morris County School of Technology in Denville, NJ participated in the national event at ...

GFWC Partners with 46 West Hair Salon for "Haircuts for a Cause"

March 20, 2018

The GFWC Woman’s Club of the Denville-Rockaway area, along with 46 West Hair Studio, is sponsoring ‘Haircuts for A Cause’ on Sunday, April 29th from 10:00am -4:00pm.

The hair salon is located on 46 West Main St, Rockaway and is offering $20.00 haircuts, for men & women on Sunday, April 29th. 

The proceeds of the haircuts will be donated to Family Promise, whose ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, March 22, 5:00 PM

The Mansion at Mountain Lakes, Mountain Lakes

St. Mary's Prep Tricky Tray

Food & Drink

Sat, March 24

Black Diamond Billiard's, Union

Ladies 9-Ball Pro-Am by the Garden State Pool Tour

Other Sports

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...