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Every case is different, and the length of each case can fluctuate, but in general, from the time of case appointment to the end of the case is generally 18-24 months or until a safe and permanent home is found.
The time commitment fluctuates. The biggest time committment is the initial 30+ hours of preservice training. Generally, an average of 5-10 hours per month is spent providing best interest advocacy.
Generally, CASA volunteers advocate for one case at a time. However, a case may involve more than one child from the same family.
You cannot currently be fostering a child and be a CASA volunteer. However, we welcome previous foster parents, or those who are not ready to be a foster parent but still want to make a difference in the life of a child residing in foster care.
Some families choose to maintain active relationships with the CASA volunteer, and for other families, maintaining a relationship with a CASA volunteer may be a difficult reminder of one of the most trying times in their lives.
A CASA volunteer works hand in hand with a CASA case supervisor right from the beginning of a case. A CASA volunteer’s supervisor is there to help them navigate the Juvenile Abuse and Neglect Court, the foster care system, and all components of best-interest advocacy. As well, volunteer appreciation events and quarterly get-togethers are held to help CASA volunteers develop connections and a support network of other CASA volunteers.
As a child in foster care life is changing constantly, a CASA volunteer may be the one consistent and caring adult in that child’s life. By being that consistent person, a CASA volunteer can help fight the effects of childhood trauma and aid in building resiliency. In addition, a study from the Illinois CASA Association indicated that a child with a CASA spends an average of six months less time in care, and of the cases with a CASA assigned, only .5% re-enter foster care.
A CASA volunteer is an independent voice, advocating on behalf of one child or sibling group. Generally, a caseworker is employed by The Department of Child and Family Services or other local agencies such as The Baby Fold or The Center for Youth and Family Solutions. Caseworkers generally have dozens of cases they manage at one time, making a comprehensive investigation of each case a challenge at times. The CASA volunteer, however, is appointed specifically to one case and can devote more time advocating for a child or sibling group. The CASA volunteer does not replace a caseworker; they are an independent appointee of the court. The CASA volunteer thoroughly examines a child’s case, provides medical, educational, personal, and legal advocacy, explores various community resources for the child and family and makes recommendations to the court.
The CASA program and the Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) are both programs housed under McLean County Government that serve different purposes. While CASA volunteers are advocates for children in foster care, the Children's Advocacy Center is there to aid children and families after an allegation of sexual or severe physical abuse has been made.
The Child Protection Network (CPN) is a non-profit entity that provides financial support for the CASA and CAC programs.
The Children’s Advocacy Center is a safe, child-friendly location for children to speak with trained interviewers.
We work with a team of professionals, including law enforcement, DCFS, prosecutors, therapists, and medical providers. During your visit, you will be able to meet some of the professionals working with you and your child and ask them further questions.
When you arrive at the CAC, one of our Advocates will show your child(ren) around the Children’s Advocacy Center. They will get to see the room where they will talk to their forensic interviewer. This will be their chance to get familiar with the process and ask any questions they might have.
Your child will be talking to one of our specialized forensic interviewers. Forensic interviewers are trained to ask open-ended, developmentally appropriate, and non-leading questions. Forensic interviewers receive ongoing training to ensure quality and best practice standards are upheld.
Interviews take place in one of our child-friendly interview rooms. Each room is equipped with comfortable seating and recording equipment.
Only professionals directly involved with the investigation observe the interview. This provides the most neutral setting for the child to be able to speak freely. Professionals directly involved in the investigation include law enforcement, DCFS, prosecution, and Advocates. The team members have the responsibility of observing, assessing, and investigating the allegations. In order to keep the team’s focus on the child, caregivers are not permitted in the observation room.
All interviews at the Children’s Advocacy Center are recorded to minimize the number of times a child will have to discuss the allegations. The recording of the interview is released to law enforcement and/or a prosecuting attorney if requested. The recording is not otherwise released without a court order to ensure complete confidentiality.
When your child meets with the forensic interviewer, you will meet with your Advocate. The Advocate’s role is to offer support, answer questions, and provide you with referrals for other services you may need. Your Advocate will be with you throughout the whole process at the Children’s Advocacy Center and will continue to follow up with you.
If you have other children with you during your visit, they are welcome to play in our playroom area so you can talk privately to your Advocate.
Following the interview, you will meet with investigative members involved in the case. They will share information about the interview and the next steps. A referral for medical or mental health services may be completed depending on the circumstances and information obtained in the interview.
If you have questions at any point during the investigation or prosecution of your child’s case, please contact your advocate.
Second, consider organ and/or tissue donation. If your loved one is an organ/tissue donor (or if organ/tissue donation is something you or your loved one’s legal next of kin would consider) and donation is possible, contact the Coroner’s Office at (309) 888-5210 immediately to discuss this with a representative of the office.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for authorizing a vaccine for emergency use. Learn how they do this at https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/vaccines/emergency-use-authorization-vaccines-explained.
None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development or in use in the United States, contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. There are several different types of vaccines in development. However, the goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever and fatigue. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
Vaccines work by triggering an immune response from our body. Different types of vaccines can produce this response. Learn the details of how our bodies do this and the different vaccine types from the Center for Disease Control’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/how-they-work.html.
The current COVID-19 vaccine candidates that are authorized for emergency use in the United States were developed using mRNA technology, which is different from vaccines the U.S. has previously used. The Center for Disease Control’s website explains more about what these are and how they work: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/mrna.html?fbclid=IwAR0iMyaBDSeoXHRK4hgZvJkGpx-j-FsX8a5Fid2zJbA6D6tQ7TmXxd7ZnpI
Health officials recommend still getting vaccinated even if you already had COVID-19. As of now, research indicates natural immunity from COVID-19 lasts approximately 90 days, while immunity in those who have been vaccinated is so far at approximately 9 months (length of longest study). As clinical trials continue, we may see this immunity lasting longer.
Vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
The FDA regulates vaccine development and approval in the U.S. through a strict process. Read more on the steps between research and development to approval at https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/development-approval-process-cber/vaccine-development-101.
Read more on Illinois’ vaccine preparedness on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s FAQ website at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccine-faq.
Every person and business in Illinois is affected by property taxes - they either pay the tax or receive services or benefits that are paid for by property taxes.
Statute 35 ILCS 200/20-15… The failure or neglect of the collector to mail the bill, or the failure of the taxpayer to receive the bill, shall not affect the validity of any tax, or the liability for the payment of any tax.”
Taxes are always due the 1st week of June and the 1st week of September of each year. If you do not receive a bill by the middle of May you need to call the Treasurer’s Office (309) 888-5180 so that we can mail you a duplicate bill. When you call we will look up the mailing address of the bill to make sure that it is correct, if a change needs to be made you will need to contact the County Assessor’s Office (309) 888-5130.
If a mortgage company should request a duplicate bill we are required to charge the mortgage company $5.00 per Statute 35 ILCS 200/20-12
35 ILCS 200/20-12The collector, upon approval by the county board, shall assess a fee of up to $5 for each duplicate tax bill provided to any mortgage lender as defined in Section 1-90 who is not the property owner of record. All amounts collected under this Section shall be deposited into the Tax Sale Automation Fund established in Section 21-245 of this Code.
Statute 35 ILCS 200/21-15
“ Except as otherwise provided in this Section or Section 21-40, all property upon which the first installment of taxes remains unpaid on June 1 annually shall be deemed delinquent and shall bear interest after June 1 at the rate of 1 ½% per month or portion thereof…all property upon which the second installment of taxes remains due and unpaid on September 1, annually, shall be deemed delinquent and shall bear interest after September 1 at the same interest rate…Payment received by mail and postmarked on or before the required due date is not delinquent.”
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If you didn’t receive your bill or have misplaced your bill you can call our office at (309) 888-5180.
Or if you have any other questions please call us and we will be glad to help you.