New group of CASA volunteers to be sworn in

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – Allen County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and the Honorable Judge Lori K. Morgan will hold a Swearing-In Ceremony on Friday, July 1, 2022 adding 4 new advocates to their volunteer-based program.

The newest class of CASA volunteers recently completed a six week/30 hour training program. These individuals have a heart for children in our community and want to make sure that abused and neglected children do not get lost in the court system. They will join a team of more than 150 advocates who provide a voice for children who are abused and neglected. Essentially, CASA volunteers “speak up” for these children in the court and child welfare systems, making sure they are safe and well-cared for, are getting the services they need, and are placed in a permanent, safe, nurturing home as quickly as possible by making recommendations to the court.

Allen County Superior Courts issued the following:

“CASA volunteers don’t require any specific educational or professional background. All they need is compassion, objectivity, and a commitment to children. We’ll train and supervise them to be effective voices in court,” says Mell Depew, Training & Recruitment Coordinator for the Allen County Office of GAL/CASA. “Our volunteers come from all walks of life, and diverse socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. They are ordinary individuals who rise to the extraordinary by making a difference in the life of a child. Our CASA Volunteers are truly here to help children feel safe and heard.”

Judge Morgan will be presiding over the ceremony. She was appointed by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb to serve as Judge of the Allen Superior Court Family Relations Division on May 18, 2021. Prior to her appointment as Judge, she had served as a Magistrate in the Family Division since 1995. Judge Morgan received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her law degree from the University of Iowa. Prior to her appointment as a Magistrate, she was in private practice where she primarily practiced family law. While in private practice, she also served as a Guardian Ad Litem for children in Children In Need of Services (CHINS) proceedings before the Allen Superior Court. Judge Morgan currently serves on the Domestic Relations Committee and on the Fitness Committee for the Indiana Board of Law Examiners. She is a member of the Indiana Judges Association, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the National Association of Women Judges, and the Allen County Bar Association where she serves on the Family Law Executive Committee. In 2005, she was a recipient of an Indiana’s NewsCenter Women in Leadership Award. In 2009, she was a recipient of an NAACP Award for outstanding service to the community in the area of justice for the families and children of Fort Wayne. Judge Morgan has served as a speaker at the Allen Superior Court’s Annual Conference on Youth and has trained community volunteers who serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates in CHINS proceedings.

This event is sponsored by the Allen County CASA Coalition, a not-for-profit that focuses its efforts toward recruitment, training, and supporting volunteers. Allen County CASA is affiliated with the Indiana State Office of GAL/CASA, which is part of the Indiana Supreme Court, Division of State Court Administration. Allen County CASA is certified by the State Office and complies with the Indiana Supreme Court Program Standards and Code of Ethics for GAL/CASA programs. Allen County CASA is also a member of the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association.

Anyone interested in becoming an advocate for children should contact Mell Depew, Volunteer & Recruitment Coordinator, at (260) 449-7190 or go to the Allen County CASA website: AllenCountyCASA.org

There will also be a live Facebook event for those interested in learning more. Check out and like the Allen County Office of GAL/CASA Facebook page for more information.