The CASA Connection

Message from the Executive Director

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  For CASA DuPage and over 900 CASA organizations around the country, child abuse prevention is our priority every day.  

Nearly 700,000 children are abused in the United States each year. Children under the age of one year have the highest level of victimization and children growing up in households with domestic violence and drug abuse are at the highest risk of abuse and neglect in their homes.

Preventing child abuse starts with recognizing the importance of strengthening families in our community.  Establishing economic support, positive parenting education and quality child care are sited by the CDC as the most effective child abuse prevention strategies.  

To our caring DuPage county community, we express our sincerest gratitude to you for supporting our vision that every child deserves a safe, permanent and nurturing home.

This month we tied blue ribbons at the entrance to the DuPage County Courthouse and posted signage sharing the DCFS hotline number.  We are genuinely grateful for the support of Chief Judge Kenneth Popejoy, along with our Juvenile Court Judges Anthony Coco and Brian Jacobs, Probate Court Judge James Orel, and Judge Ann Celine Walsh, Presiding Judge of Specialty and Juvenile Courts Division.  

We look forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming CASA Golf Classic on Thursday, May 19th at Cantigny Golf in Wheaton.  It's going to be a wonderful event!  Scroll down for more information and the link to register or volunteer.  

We are truly grateful for our CASA friends who are helping keep children safe by donating, attending our events, volunteering as advocates, board members or for our special events.  On behalf of the vulnerable children we serve in DuPage county, thank you for doing your part to prevent child abuse.  

April is...
Child Abuse Prevention Month

Pictured left to right: Kathie Paravola, Stacie Coaker, Judge James Orel, Judge Ann Celine Walsh, Judge Brian Jacobs, Judge Anthony Coco, Chief Judge Kenneth Popejoy, Cathy McCoy, Suzanne Skala, Jackie Rankin and Tammy Cetina.

CASA of DuPage County recognizes Child Abuse Prevention Month by tying blue ribbons and posting signage at the entrance of the DuPage County Courthouse. In our effort to bring awareness to child abuse and neglect in DuPage County, we were joined by judges who depend on Court Appointed Special Advocates to be their eyes and ears in the courtroom.

We encourage everyone in the community to join us and play a role in keeping children safe.  Tie a blue ribbon to a tree in your neighborhood or wear one on your lapel.  Most importantly, if you see something you think is not right related to the safety of a child, call the DCFS hotline 1-800-25-ABUSE.

Other ways you can show your support this month:
  • Be a positive and nurturing parent or caregiver and help others do the same.
  • Make children in your life a priority, assuring they are in safe and healthy environments.
  • Wear a blue ribbon during the month of April to show your support.
  • Call the DCFS hotline 1-800-25-ABUSE if you suspect abuse or neglect.
  • Follow DuPage CASA on social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram.

Board Spotlight

CASA DuPage is Pleased to Introduce
Sandy Higgins
Becoming involved with the CASA organization was always on the mind of Sandy Higgins.  Her law degree, along with a passion for helping children made it seem like such a good fit.  But with children of her own and a full-time job, she was unsure she would have the time needed to commit to becoming a volunteer advocate. 

Then, an opportunity arose when she was asked to join the board of directors in early 2020 and she said yes right away!  It was a challenging time to take on this volunteer leadership role, as it was the middle of the COVID shutdown.  She was not able to meet board and staff members as she would have liked.  Since then, however, she has gotten to know her fellow board members, CASA staff and a number of the volunteer advocates.  Sandy says they are some of the nicest people she has ever met. 

“I’ve appreciated getting to know so many individuals involved with CASA, doing such great things in the community.  They are always thinking forward on what programs we can start or build on to continue to help these kids who have had such difficult circumstances.”
Sandy Higgins and her family at the 2021 CASA of DuPage County Mad Hatter Gala.

Previous to her current role as a Senior Wealth Advisor at Capstone Financial Advisors for the past 12 years, she spent some time as a tax consultant for a large accounting firm in the city.  She has lived in Naperville for the past 25 years with her husband Jim, and two grown boys who are now enjoying the city life as well. 

Since joining the board, Sandy became actively engaged in event committee planning and fundraising.  She joined the committee for the 2021 Gala and is now co-chair of the committee for CASA’s upcoming Golf Classic on Thursday, May 19th at Cantigny Golf in Wheaton. 

We are thankful for Sandy’s expertise, dedication and commitment to the CASA mission, advocating for children who have been abused and neglected in DuPage county.

Thank you Sandy for being an integral member of our board of directors. 
We are truly grateful for your leadership!  
Register Now for the CASA Golf Classic

Registration is now open to participate in CASA of DuPage County's annual Golf Classic on Thursday, May 19th at the beautiful Cantigny Golf Course in Wheaton.

Sponsorships and advertising ranges from $300 to $7,500 and provide great name/logo recognition for your organization!  You can also golf, purchase a foursome or join us for the evening dinner and program.

It will be a memorable day with a putting contest, lunch, games, sample tastings, snacks and hors d'oeuvres, raffle and live auction items and an 11:30 shotgun start!  All while raising much-needed funds for abused and neglected children.  Please click on the Register button below to join us!  
The CASA Golf Classic also has volunteer opportunities available.  If you'd like to help us out that day, please click on the link to sign up!  

For questions or more information, please contact Vicki Shaw at

Thank You Early Golf Sponsors!

Welcome Advocates

On March 25, 2022, Judge Anthony Coco swore in seven new volunteer advocates to the CASA of DuPage County program. 
After a comprehensive application process, these dedicated individuals received background checks, were fingerprinted and participated in interviews--in addition to completing 30 hours of training to prepare them to take on the appointment of their first case.  They will now begin advocating for children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect.

We are proud of what you have accomplished and you will make a difference in the lives of children in our community.  Thank you for your gift of time.

Our Fondest

Farewell to Jill

At the end of this month, Jill Jakubowski will be leaving CASA of DuPage County after more than 12 years of service as a volunteer advocate, then as an advocate supervisor.  Jill is an ambassador for CASA and an advocate for vulnerable children in DuPage county. For nearly seven years in her role as Advocate Supervisor, Jill has been an unwavering support for children, having a positive impact in the lives of hundreds of children in our community.  We are profoundly grateful to Jill for her service to CASA, and her dedication to protecting the safety of children.  

Although Jill will no longer be a member of our staff, she will always be a valued member of the CASA DuPage family. We sincerely wish Jill and her family much happiness and success as they embark on their new adventure. 

Thank You

National Volunteer Week is April 17-23.  We recognize the tremendous committment CASA volunteers have made to vulnerable children in our community.  

From volunteer advocates, to our volunteer board of directors, to every committee and event volunteer, we are profoundly grateful for your time and support!

CASA of DuPage County

The mission of DuPage County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is to recruit, train and support volunteer citizen advocates to effectively speak to the best interests of abused, neglected, dependent and vulnerable children in the DuPage County court system.

CASA’s vision is that every child deserves a safe, permanent, nurturing home.

Visit us at to learn more!
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