Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Winnebago County CASA program receives grant

Staff Report

ROCKFORD –  The Winnebago County Court Appointed Special Advocate program (CASA) has has received a $12,300 grant for recruitment and training of volunteer CASAs.

The grant was awarded from the Community Grants Program of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL) with support from the Glenn E. Thiel Memorial Fund.

In 2019, 110 CASA advocates represented over 340 children in Juvenile Abuse and
Neglect Court in Winnebago County. Officials say that number represents only about one-third of the children in the court system and that many more advocates are needed.

The CFNIL grant will help CASA to close the gap in need for volunteer advocates.
Winnebago County CASA is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization that
advocates for abused and neglected children within the Juvenile Court system. Its trained volunteers are appointed by a judge to represent the best interests of
children in the Abuse and Neglect Court.

The CASA mission is to assist the court in seeking the best interests of abused & neglected children through court-appointed volunteer advocacy. According Winnebago County CASA Program Director Jillisa Bondurant grant funds will be used to recruit and train additional volunteers.

“The ultimate goal of the CASA Program is to provide a trained volunteer for each child in Abuse and Neglect Court,” Bondurant said.

Training sessions are held throughout the year. The next session will start in April.
For more information about CASA, please call the CASA office at 815-319-6880 or
visit the website at

The mission of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois is to serve as a
catalyst for giving in order to attract, preserve, and grow an endowment for current
and future needs of Northern Illinois. Since its founding in 1953, CFNIL has granted
more than $73 million for charitable purposes. Learn more about CFNIL’s grant
making and commitment to endowment at

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