MONTCLAIR, NJ - Two Montclair residents were sworn-in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).

On May 18, Jessica Siegal and Loreen Fennell of Montclair were sworn-in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) by Essex County Superior Court Judge Grimbergen.  

Siegal and Fennell completed 33 hours of training to become advocates for Essex County's abused, neglected or abandoned children who were removed from their homes and placed in foster care. With these positions, they will speak up for children in court to advocate for the services and support they need.

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According to CASA, volunteers 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.  

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

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




Pictured from left (back): Deidra Carey - Springfield, NJ; Juliet Robinson - West Orange, NJ; Sherry Caesar - Orange, NJ; Johnnie Jones Tucker - Orange, NJ; Dennis Cronin - Maplewood, NJ; Adwoa Odame-Darkwa - Jersey City, NJ; Stephanie Sudiono - South Orange, NJ; Jessica Siegal - Montclair, NJ; Jill Ehrlich - Livingston, NJ; Loreen Fennell - Montclair, NJ;

(front): Tiana Andrews - Newark, NJ; Vanya Stolzer - South Orange, NJ; Katie Robinson - Morristown, NJ; Desiree Jacobs - East Orange, NJ

Not pictured: Elizabeth Alva Freyre - Bloomfield, NJ; Morgan Maglich - Maplewood; Gideon Romann - Maplewood, NJ; Limor Levy - Maplewood, NJ