Morristown, NJ— Morristown residents Paula Davidoff, Frank Mertz, Anita Charette, Jessica Fiddes, and Krisann Henry were among a group of volunteers sworn in as Court Appointed Special Advocates who will advocate for the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment.

On May 17, 2018  The Honorable Michael P. Wright swore in Davidoff, Mertz, Charette, Fiddes, Henry as well as  Melissa Perales (Newark), Diana Burgos (Parsippany), Bethany Cramer (Basking Ridge), Alyssa Davis (West Milford), Rachel DiFusco (Randolph), Christine Dugan (Chatham), Susan Friedman (Livingston), Werner Goldbach (Montville), Diane Hertzig (Boonton), Jason Lamb (Randolph), Tina Magarino (Wantage), Lori Maikis (Wantage), Charlene Polomski (Kinnelon), Steven Weintraub (Maplewood), Amie Drahos (Hackettstown), Jacki Granville (Pine Brook), Damaris Hurtado (Succasunna), Daveen Judge (Madison), Joan Mahon (Parsippany), Kathleen Pappas (Boonton), Kyle Sanzone (Montville), Phyllis Sapherstein (Landing), Peter Stancato (Morris Plains), Dudley Thompson (Chatham),and Pamela Vanderslice (Boonton).

The new volunteers have made a 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

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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 court 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.”

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