ESSEX COUNTY, NJ - Fifteen volunteers joined a community of advocates dedicated to speaking up on behalf of Essex County's foster children with CASA for Children of Essex County. The latest class of advocates gathered at the Wilentz Court Complex in Newark on Tuesday, February 13 as they as they took an oath to advocate for the best interest of foster children in family court. 

The newly appointed CASA advocates included Courtney Redfern Klein, Maritza Lopez, Christene Mann, Ali Kim, Lorita "Suki" Arthur, Mike Capron, Alice Avellanet, Lois Perkins, Jenna Zemachson, Rose Lorre, Aniyah Lewis, Kayanna Richards, Domenica Dominguez, Leslye Lopez, and Randi Mazzella (not pictured).  

Each volunteer meets with their child regularly, collaborates with people involved in the child's life, attends court hearings, and communicates their findings in order to ensure that the child's best interests are represented in the community and in the courtroom. 

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Essex County is home to more than 2,000 foster children who were removed from their home because of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Last year CASA for Children of Essex County advocated for nearly 600 of these children. 

To learn how you can speak up for Essex County's foster children and ensure they receive they services and the support they need, contact Jess Earl at or visit for a schedule of upcoming events.