In Our Community

FairToday we worked two different gates at the Boone County Fair, encouraging people to buy raffle tickets, attend the Roast on the 18th, or just hear about CASA for the first time. If you’d like to do any of those things call us at 815 547-6599.

Thank you to board members Tasha and Julie for coming out today! If you ever wonder why CASA volunteers do the hard jobs they do take a peek at this letter below, originally posted on Foster Care and Adoption. This was written by a child who was simply asked what he wanted most in a family.



The birthday party project


Have you heard of The Birthday Party Project? It’s an organization, based out of Addison Texas but holding parties even in the Chicago area, focusing on the birthdays of homeless children. So often, children experiencing poverty and homelessness are forced to be concerned about the big things, the things that are necessary for survival: shelter; food; getting to and from school. The things that many of us take for granted, like celebrating holidays and birthdays, are treats beyond compare for these little ones. The Birthday Party Project tries to close that gap and make sure that any kid turning another year older will get to celebrate.

To learn more about The Birthday Party Project click here.

Couples that abuse together

Have you heard of Vinson Filyaw? If not, or if his name sounds vaguely familiar, remember that he was a construction worker who abducted a 14 year old girl on her way home from school by impersonating a police officer. Vinson then forced the girl, Elizabeth, into an underground bunker where he chained and abused her. While he kept her, over the course of days, Elizabeth managed to talk him into letting her entertain herself on his phone. Instead of plying the promised games, Elizabeth texted her mother her location. Elizabeth, pretending to have Vinson’s best interest in mind, convinced him to flee before the police showed up. He was caught, not far from the hole Elizabeth was found in.

There are a few things not commonly known about Filyaw’s case. One is that Filyaw had a previous victim, a 12 year old girl, whose home he snuck into while her mother was sleeping and abused. The child told her mother, who did not appear to act on the report. The child then went on to tell a counselor, setting off a manhunt for Filyaw. The second, related part of this story is that both Filyaw’s paramour and his mother helped him hide in several underground bunkers, thus paving the way for Elizabeth’s capture.

Unfortunatly, these types of situations aren’t unknown to social workers, CASAs, and police officers. There is one parent abusing and the other is equally as actively abusing or knowingly allowing the abuse to occur. Why is this? Why would a person either allow or be talked into accepting deviant, violent behavior in their partner?

This article from WPTZ is a great reference to that question. It says-

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Luckily, and mostly because of her quick thinking and mature character, Elizabeth, now in her twenties, is making a happy life for herself. She has partnered with her local police department and gives speeches on safety and self defense at schools. Elizabeth said she uses her experience to remind herself of her inner strength but says that mostly she has moved past the violence.

Housing Authority

Yesterday Charlotte got to hear a presentation from the Winnebago County Housing Authority and came back to share what she learned. These included-

  • most people make it through the housing authority’s programs in about five years
  • the housing authority serves people of all ages
  • the housing authority is beginning a new initiative for foster youth who age out of care
  • the Winnebago County Housing Authority and the Rockford Housing Authority are different entities
  • the housing authority is currently seeking someone for its Board as a representative of Boone County

For more information see this page from their brochure or visit them at

Housing Authority

Put it on your calendar

RosecranceConsider these situations, given as examples of people in need of support in recovery, published at Elements Behavioral Health

  • Amy, 26, and the mother of two small children, has been in recovery for nearly a year. An alcoholic, she still feels the trigger of Friday night drinking at the bar with her friends. She’s looking for an alternative way to socialize with others that doesn’t involve drinking or drugs.

  • John, 56, just completed his treatment program and is now in recovery. He’s scared he won’t be able to last a few weeks, since his drug cravings are now raging again and the fact that his live-in girlfriend still uses. He’s desperate for help.

  • Bonnie, now in her mid-30s and a former meth abuser, who was also addicted to prescription drugs, doesn’t believe in 12-step meetings. She has a lot of friends who are still using, some of whom have relapsed, and others who attended meetings and they didn’t work. Although she goes to work at her job every day, she’s exhausted all the time from the stress of trying to stay off drugs. She doesn’t know that to do.

  • Warren, late 60s, just got out of jail (a 30-day incarceration). All that time he was clean, and he hopes to be able to stay sober from now on. But he’s worried because he doesn’t have a safe place to stay, someplace where he’s not exposed to drugs and alcohol. He also needs to find a job.

  • Carlos has a mild form of schizophrenia, along with an addiction to heroin. He’s had difficulty in recovery because he’s afraid to discuss things going on with him. He feels that if he does, he’ll be locked up again. He’s very tempted to go back to drugs, even though he wants to stay clean.

  • Janice, a well-put-together 40-something mother of three teenagers, is also a compulsive gambler. Her finances are in ruins because of her addiction and she’s slowly trying to get back on her feet. She suffers incredible guilt because she’s gambled away her children’s college fund and feels the pressure to recoup it quick.

  • Only 18, Kris has completed Wilderness training and treatment for relapse for his addiction to drugs and alcohol. He wants to return home and go to community college, promising to stay away from his drug-using friends. His parents are skeptical and want him to go to school out of state. Kris says he’ll find new friends that are clean and sober and needs help to stick to his plan.

  • Sonya, 32, married for 12 years but no children, loves her husband but still feels drawn to her pattern of having sex with strangers while she’s on the road (she’s a pharmaceutical rep). She attends Sexaholics Anonymous meetings when she can, but the lure of the encounters is too strong. Her husband will divorce her if he finds out she’s cheating again.

    To support people experiencing similar situations and many, many more consider participating in Rosecrance’s “Every Step Counts” 5k. Open to all ages.