LIVINGSTON, NJ — After completing 33 hours of training to become an advocate for Essex County's abused, neglected or abandoned children who were removed from their homes and placed in foster care, Livingston resident Jill Ehrlich was sworn in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) by Essex County Superior Court Judge Grimbergen.

CASA volunteers speak up for these children in court to ensure they receive the services and support they need, and that their time in care is as short as possible. They act as an extra set of eyes and ears for family court judges.

In addition to spending time with the youth, advocates communicate with all parties involved in the youth's life, such as resource parents, caseworkers, teachers, doctors, and therapists, to gather information about what is happening in a child's life. All findings are included in a court report.

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Of the 1,800 children in foster care within Essex County each year, nearly 600 were served by CASA. More volunteers are needed to work with more than 1,200 youth who still need a CASA Advocate.  

The next training course begins on July 16. For more information regarding training or other ways to help the organization reach more foster youth, contact Jess Earl at 973-622-4831 or jearl@casaessex.org.  

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