About Us

CASA History

CASA of Camden County, Inc is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization serving children who have been removed from their homes as a result of abuse and neglect. CASA of Camden County works on behalf of the Camden County Family Court System. 

Our volunteers work one-on-one with a child who has experienced abuse or neglect, advocating for his or her best interests working towards achieving permanency in a safe, nurturing home as soon as possible. CASA of Camden County has been operating since 2003.

The first CASA programs in NJ were established in 1986 and 1987 with Essex County and Morris County respectively. CASA of NJ was created in 2000 to address the need to expand CASA programs throughout the state. A CASA program is currently operating in every New Jersey County.

CASA of NJ provides support to all CASA programs in NJ, primarily through funding, training, public education, and technical assistance. Additionally, it provides a forum for local CASA programs to share resources, improve their programs, and unifies CASA’s voice on behalf of children in foster care statewide.

Learn more about CASA of NJ

In 1977, a Seattle Superior Court Judge named David Soukup was concerned about trying to make decisions on behalf of abused and neglected children without enough information. He conceived the idea of appointing community volunteers to independently investigate the cases, make recommendations, and speak up in court about what was in the best interest of the child.

He made a request for volunteers; 50 citizens responded, and that was the start of the CASA movement. News of the success of Judge Soukop’s experiment spread like wildfire and CASA programs sprang up all over the United States. 

Currently nearly 1,000 CASA Programs operate throughout the United States and CASA volunteers have helped more than 2 million children find safe, permanent homes in which they can thrive.

Learn more about National CASA

CASA of Camden County Advocate and Girl

Our Mission

Advocate in the judicial system for the best interests of victims of abuse and neglect in foster care, giving the child a voice in court and moving the child to a safe and permanent home.

Our Vision

CASA of Camden County Advocate and Boy

Children in Foster Care Benefit From Having CASA Advocates Because They...

  • Are half as likely to re-enter foster care. 
  • Are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care. 
  • Are more likely to be adopted.
  • Have more services ordered for them.
  • Are more likely to have a consistent, responsible adult presence.
  • Spend less time in foster care.
  • Do better in school.

Our Team

CASA of Camden County Jonathan Cummings

Jonathan Cummings

Executive Director

Jonathan Cummings has been serving as the Executive Director of CASA of Camden County since 2016, and he has served with CASA organizations since 2012, when he started with CASA of Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties. Prior to that time, Jon served in Mexico working on behalf of children and families through a school, dental clinic, and an orphanage he worked with friends to start. Jon is excited for the opportunities that CASA of Camden County has for growth over the coming years and the great potential of the current and soon-to-be volunteers that are serving and will serve with CASA. These individuals truly are the heartbeat of CASA and jewels in our community.

CASA of Camden County B. Lauren Williams

B. Lauren Williams

Program Director

B. Lauren Williams joined CASA of Camden County in 2015 as the Senior Program Coordinator after serving for two years a CASA Volunteer in Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties. She has over 10 years of experience in organizational leadership, program development and has worked to build-up various youth organizations. Her hobbies include traveling with her husband, cooking, catching a good nap, and listening to music. Lauren holds a B.A. in Urban Studies in Planning from Rutgers University and a Masters of Organizational Leadership from Regent University. She is currently working toward a Doctorate in Strategic Leadership. Lauren is passionate about CASA’s mission to ensure that every child has a voice!
CASA of Camden County Carol Tamashiro

Carol Tamashiro

Volunteer Specialist

Carol joined CASA in January of 2011. She is a proud native of Hawaii but has come to enjoy NJ as her permanent home. In her role at CASA, Carol enjoys connecting with new volunteers as they work their way through the process of becoming an advocate. She enjoys spending time with her grandson on the weekends and taking him to the shore! She gets her greatest satisfaction from watching him enjoy life as a kid. He is her special gift!
CASA of Camden County Charlene Taylor

Charlene Taylor

Volunteer Recruiter

Charlene Taylor graduated from Rowan University with a B.A. in Liberal Studies in December 2017 and a A.A. in Marketing, May 2015. Charlene has a colorful background in sales, marketing, applied behavior, corporate training, and serving the community. She enjoys bike riding, power walking, reading, theater and spending time at church with her granddaughter. Her hopes and dreams are to fulfill the CASA mission to ensure that every abused and neglected child are given a safe and permanent home.

Charisma Ennis

Volunteer Coordinator/Case Supervisor

Charisma Ennis comes to CASA of Camden county with over 12 years of experience in the field. Charisma has worked with the Administration for Children’s services as a Child Protective Specialist and juvenile detention. Her previous role in leadership has allowed her to provide guidance to her team while continuing to change the lives of teens and families she served. Every day Charisma brings her passion to her role and her team and believes in a hands-on approach with compassion to each and every client. Charisma is excited for the opportunities to continue the work in promoting change and renewed hope the children of CASA of Camden County.

Board of Trustees

Every member of our board of directors is a thought leader who has made significant contributions to our society. Each one brings a unique set of skills and expertise to our organization. 

CASA of Camden County Kelvin Pena

Kelvin Peña

Board President

Bio Coming Soon

CASA of Camden County Brigette Satchell

Brigette Satchell

Board Treasurer

Brigette Satchell has been a CASA Board member since 2012. She is currently the Vice President of the CASA Board. Brigette has a passion for helping the youth. She has over 22 years of higher education experience. Brigette currently serves as an executive member of the Gloucester County Workforce Development Board. She is member of the State Council for Adult Literacy Education Services. Brigette was recognized as one of the 2014 Gloucester County Women of Achievement.

CASA of Camden County Stephanie Appling

Stephanie Appling

Board Secretary

Bio Coming Soon

CASA of Camden County Shaneka Shannon

Shaneka Shannon

Board Member

Shaneka Shannon immigrated to the USA at the age of 6 and is now a teacher in the Philadelphia area. She has an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University Camden and a Masters in Education from Cabrini University. She was introduced to the CASA organization in 2014 while running a food truck named “Jamaican Me Hungry” in front of the Camden court house. After cooking for the Annual Night of Reggae celebration she was interested in giving back to the community to which she loved through being a board member. Shaneka has served in several capacities on the board including treasurer and secretary and now board member. Her love for the community is what has led to her steadfast community to the CASA organization over the years.

Dr. Yilmaz

Board Member

Dr. Yilmaz is board certified for children, adolescent and adult psychiatry. Dr. Yilmaz joined Saint Elizabeths Hospital Psychiatry Residency Training Program in Washington DC, after completing her MS in Tumor Biology at Georgetown University. She continued her psychiatry residency at Virginia Commonwealth University. She completed her child and adolescent fellowship at Virginia Treatment Center for Children. Dr. Yilmaz also completed TMS Fellowship continuing education program at Duke University. Dr. Yilmaz has been working for Legacy Treatment Services, a 501c3 nonprofit for more than 10 years. Dr. Yilmaz served as an assistant professor at UMDNJ for two years. She is now a volunteer faculty at Cooper University.

Dr. Yilmaz believes in a balanced & individualized approach for addressing the behavioral, social or emotional challenges. Dr. Yilmaz is an active researcher publishing in peer reviewed journals and follows academia closely for cutting edge treatment methods. In her research she focused on behavioral problems of children and adolescents due to cultural and diversity differences.

Her private practice focuses on treatment of a broad range of behavioral or emotional issues, including treatment resistant depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorders, anxiety disorder, and parenting concerns.

Thank You To Our Supporters

We are thankful to all of the generous supporters who enable CASA of New Jersey to continue our important work on behalf of abused and neglected children within Camden County.

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