happening peoplearchive

Jan Cuny

For the past three years, UO computer science professor Jan Cuny has served as a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused and neglected children. "They have a terrific training course," she reports. "After that, you're appointed to a case." Each CASA volunteer is assigned to a child in foster care, and remains with that child until a safe and permanent home is found. The advocate attends family meetings, talks with teachers and case workers, and writes reports for the court. "Kids have a lot of different care providers," Cuny notes. "No one has the total picture except the CASA." A New Jersey native, Cuny volunteered in a big-sister program as an undergrad at Princeton, and worked with abused kids while in grad school at Michigan. She and her husband Steve Robinson adopted three older children while she was teaching at UMass. They moved to Eugene in 1993. "Kids benefit from seeing the same face in different situations over a period of years," Cuny says. "It's one of the most rewarding things I do." CASA of Lane County advocated for 148 children last year. More volunteers are needed -- inquire at 984-3132.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 3 April 2003

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