Judge Francie Hill - Lorraine Merriman Farrell - Kristin Bishay
Judge Francie Hill has been Judge of the Monroe Circuit Court since 2007. Prior to that she served as the Juvenile Referee hearing all cases of Child Abuse and Neglect and Delinquency in Monroe County, directed the IU Law School Child Advocacy Clinic, and served as the first director of the Indiana Supreme Court Family Court program. Her legal career has been committed to improving our judicial system for children and families. In 1986 she co-authored the CHINS Deskbook for attorneys and Judges in Indiana law. She collaborated with Iris Kiesling to start the first Monroe County CASA program. Currently she is the lead judge for the Monroe County Family Court program that provides mediation, specialized programs for high risk families, and free legal assistance for low income families.
Lorraine Merriman Farrell is an effective child advocate whose passion and dedication has been demonstrated over the past fourteen years she has served as a CASA. In her CASA application, Lorraine wrote, "I simply want to give some of my time to help children in a meaningful way." Indeed she has done just that with compassion, professionalism, and integrity. Lorraine has advocated for 20 children in 7 cases (one case alone involved 8 children). In the past 3 and half years alone she has donated over 1000 hours on her cases! Lorraine is an amazing ambassador for Monroe County CASA.
Kristin Bishay began her journey with CASA 16 years ago as a volunteer advocate, a CASA. She joined the staff in 2003 in a temporary position while the then Director was on family leave. She has been with CASA ever since. After Kristin became the Executive Director 5 years ago, the CASA program became an independent non-profit agency with a very active and engaged board of directors as well as increasing CASA staff to enable the agency to serve more child victims in our community.
Monroe County CASA Mission Statement
Monroe County CASA Inc. is a non-profit organization that recruits, trains, and supervises court appointed volunteers to advocate for children who are involved in juvenile court due to abuse and neglect. Volunteer advocacy is based on the belief that all children are entitled to a safe and permanent home.
The US Department of Justice - Office of the Inspector General conducted an audit of the National CASA Association, which we are a member. The results of the audit showed that:
- A child with a CASA volunteer is more likely to be adopted and not languish in foster care.
- A child with a CASA volunteer is more likely to be reunified with their birth parent, compared to a child without a CASA.
- And very importantly, a child with a CASA volunteer is LESS likely to reenter the child welfare system. The proportion of reentries is consistently reduced by HALF!