SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Fighting to advocate for vulnerable children in local communities around Illinois, State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, joined a group of bipartisan state legislators, some of whom were also veterans, and representatives from Illinois Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) to call on Illinois veterans to consider training with their local CASA organization.

“Veterans are unique in that we are very mission driven, and this is exactly the trait that children need on their behalf,” said Kifowit. “There is a severe shortage in advocates for children who have been neglected or abused, and I am calling on my fellow veterans to fill this need.”

Kifowit, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and Chair of the Illinois House Veterans Affairs Committee, would like Illinois veterans to step up and volunteer their time with local foster children. Illinois CASA’s goal is for all children in Illinois who experience abuse or neglect, to have the opportunity to thrive in a safe and loving home. Kifowit is concerned that Illinois CASA is suffering from a shortage of advocates and is calling on veterans to volunteer. Illinois CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interest of abused children and to ensure that they do not get lost in the overburdened child welfare system or languish in an inappropriate group or foster home.

“Veterans believe that no one should be left behind, and these children are being left behind,” said Kifowit. “We have to step up and serve these children, and I know there are veterans out there who will embrace this mission of helping advocate for our most vulnerable children in the state of Illinois.”

“Right now CASA is serving about 1/3 of the children currently in care,” stated James McIntyre, Mission and Outreach Associate at Illinois CASA. “We are looking for volunteers to give 10 volunteer hours a month for these children who desperately need them.”

Individuals interested in more information or in volunteering, can contact Illinois CASA at www.illinoiscasa.org or call 312-277-4950.

Rep. Stephanie KifowitRep. Stephanie Kifowit

84th District

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