Sharon Campbell Share

Jun 11, 2021  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

Kansas native and long­time Mar­i­on res­i­dent, Sharon Camp­bell, has helped many chil­dren in Mar­i­on & Grant Coun­ty find hope out of hard­ship and safe, sta­ble home lives through vol­un­teer­ing with the local CASA agency.

Camp­bell earned her Bachelor’s in Psy­chol­o­gy from com­bined edu­ca­tion through Bartlesville Wes­leyan Col­lege in OK, then Indi­ana Wes­leyan Uni­ver­si­ty. After grad­u­a­tion, she began work­ing for RCA, then worked 20 years for Tay­lor Uni­ver­si­ty. Dur­ing that time, she saw an ad that CASA of Grant Coun­ty need­ed vol­un­teers to work as Court-Appoint­ed Spe­cial Advo­cates” for chil­dren of fam­i­lies going through judi­cial pro­ceed­ings. She answered the call, then took about a 4‑week train­ing to start her first case. Over the course of 30 years, Camp­bell has worked with about 20 fam­i­lies devel­op­ing rela­tion­ships with the child or sib­lings as well as par­ents, while han­dling case­work in con­junc­tion with the Depart­ment of Child Ser­vices and the court system.

The 30-year CASA vet­er­an believes in the organization’s mis­sion. There are chil­dren who can get lost in the sys­tem. Through CASA, we have time to spend with a child…working just one to two cas­es at a time…to inves­ti­gate how they are doing in fos­ter care or in a relative’s care, etc.”

Camp­bell explained she had sev­er­al fam­i­lies take advan­tage of oppor­tu­ni­ties offered to them to bet­ter under­stand how to par­ent their chil­dren. They have worked hard, and have been able to have their chil­dren come back into the home for tri­al vis­its and even­tu­al­ly home per­ma­nent­ly,” said Camp­bell. Our goal is to reunite chil­dren and par­ents if we can do it safely.”

For indi­vid­u­als inter­est­ed in vol­un­teer­ing with CASA, Camp­bell said it’s not nec­es­sar­i­ly easy, but main­ly know­ing how to work with peo­ple. You real­ly need to exam­ine and ask your­self if you real­ly want to do it. You don’t real­ize what it involves until you get into it. I have found a lot that I didn’t real­ize that goes on with strug­gling fam­i­lies.” Camp­bell empha­sized that drugs bring a lot of trou­ble in many cas­es she sees in Mar­i­on. Some­times I think I don’t want to con­tin­ue, but in work­ing with these fam­i­lies, you start to care about the kids and want to see good things hap­pen with them.”

Camp­bell is mar­ried with two chil­dren and four grand­chil­dren who keep her busy with sports and fam­i­ly activ­i­ties. Her pas­sion for help­ing chil­dren came out of her love for her kids and grandkids.

Camp­bell also vol­un­teers with the Ladies’ Bible Study and Children’s Min­istry at Lake­view Wes­leyan Church.

CASA cur­rent­ly needs about 30 vol­un­teers accord­ing to their local web­site. To learn more, call CASA of Grant Coun­ty at 765.664.1891 or vis­it casaof​grant​coun​ty​.org.