You are their source.



we know that abused and neglected foster children will thrive, given the chance.



Our mission is to give them the chance they need.

Day in and day out we dedicate ourselves to helping abused and neglected foster children be seen and be heard. Our mission is to recruit, train, and support community volunteers to serve as the voice of abused and neglected children in the Luzerne County court system so that these children will be safe, secure, and given the opportunity to thrive.  

CASA of Luzerne County is a non-profit 501(c)3 child advocacy organization that was established in 2013. We are part of the National CASA Association and we continue to grow and develop with the help and guidance of this robust organization. There are currently over 1,000 CASA/GAL programs in 49 states recruiting, training, and supporting a network of volunteers to represent the best interests of children in their respective communities. 

Luzerne County CASA

Our vision is amplify each and every young voice.

When children are given an opportunity to thrive, they will. We envision a community in which every abused and neglected child in Luzerne County has a safe, permanent, loving home and the support to become a healthy, empowered adult. We know that children who are assigned a CASA volunteer are half as likely to re-enter foster care. We know that children who are assigned a CASA volunteer spend less time in foster care. And we know that children who are assigned a CASA volunteer perform better in school. Since 2013, 158 children in Luzerne County have been matched with a CASA volunteer. 


I think children deserve to have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.
— John Aciukewicz, Esq., Executive Director, CASA of Luzerne County


Our goal is to enlist your help.

Qualified, compassionate Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) offer abused and neglected foster children the one thing they don't have: the undivided attention of a caring adult.  

A CASA is a trained community volunteer, appointed by a judge, to represent the best interests of an abused and neglected child (or sibling group) in court. Volunteer advocates independently assess each child's situation and dedicate themselves to learning all they can about a child’s unique history and experiences. They then make informed recommendations to the Luzerne County Dependency Judges as to: 1) what permanent placement would be best for that particular child, and 2) what immediate services the child needs, whether it be educational, social, mental health, physical health, or cultural.


Are you willing to help?

there is a child that needs you.


john aciukewicz | executive director

John joined us in 2016 after serving three years on the Board of Directors. His desire to help CASA achieve the growth he knew it was capable of was so great that he stopped practicing law after more than 30 years and redirected his attention to helping abused and neglected foster children in Luzerne County.

John is an active member of St. Therese’s in Shavertown, PA, as well as a member of the advisory board for Mercy Services in Wilkes-Barre, PA. He is a past member of the Mercy Consultation Center in Dallas, PA. 

He credits his father for teaching him the importance of honesty, humility, integrity, character, hard work, and faith. His 33-year marriage to his best friend, Beth, is one his greatest blessings, in addition to their journey together raising their three sons, Josh, 30; Zach, 28; and Aaron, 24. 

John is graduate of Dickinson School of Law and Gettysburg College.


Sarah Mulé | Program Coordinator 

Sarah joined us in 2017 after working for years as a journalist. She believes every child deserves love, safety and stability and that CASAs are able to be the person abused and neglected foster children can depend on. 

She’s inspired to see the way volunteers unite — from the Board of Directors to each and every advocate — to make a positive impact in the lives of children in such desperate need of attention and care. 

Sarah was raised in South Florida and relocated to NEPA several years ago. She finds joy being in the company of loved ones, as well as dancing, boxing, cooking, traveling, and practicing yoga. 

Sarah attended Palm Beach State College and Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Annie Ellis, Advocate Coordinator, CASA of Luzerne County

shannon joyce | Advocate coordinator

Shannon joined us in 2017 after working with children and volunteers in the child welfare system. Her background as a forensic interviewer with the Luzerne County Child Advocacy Center and a caseworker for Big Brothers Big Sisters has helped her understand just how empowered a child becomes with consistent support. 

Shannon believes that every child deserves to be heard and to know that they are loved and cherished in this world.  Her passion for service was instilled in her by her parents at a very early age. 

Shannon enjoys crafting and step dancing. In fact, she’s been an Irish step dancer for 21 years.

She holds a BA from Misericordia University in Government, Law and National Security. 

Annie Ellis | Program Director

Annie has been a court appointed special advocate since 2016. Her passion for CASA prompted her to officially join our staff in 2018, leaving a three decade-long career as a litigation paralegal. She believes that every child deserves to be cherished, and aligning herself with CASA of Luzerne County allows her to affect positive change.

Annie feels so strongly about CASA’s mission after having seen first-hand the difference a trusted adult can make in the life of a child that has been neglected or abused. She often tells the children for whom she advocates: “Your past is not your future. Anything is possible. I will be right here with you.”

She is equally passionate about her four children – Devon, Quinn, Max, and Liam – and their 10 children, and is trying really hard to enjoy running.

Annie attended Bloomsburg University, University of Scranton, and the American Institute for Paralegal Studies.


Meet Our Board Of Directors

Executive Officers

Christine M Jensen

Christina Dilks Taylor



Ramah Hackett



MElissa Parente

Vice President


John Aciukewicz, Esq.

Executive Director

Kristyn Lartz

Kristyn Howell


Board Members

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Julie Bean

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Cheryl COnnolly

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Eberhard Faber


Liz Graham

Ramah Hackett, CASA Board of Directors

Lindsay Griffin

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Paul Lumia

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Anthony Melf

Lynn McCarthy

Lynn McCarthy


Mike Murray


Frederick A. Pettit, Esq.


Adina Rosenthal

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Barb Straub