Cari Levin, LCSW
Founding Executive Director
Cari Levin is a licensed clinical social worker with over 25 years of experience working with families whose children and teens have emotional, behavioral and learning disabilities. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Lawrence University and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Ms. Levin also completed post-graduate training in family therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago Institute for Juvenile Research and school social work courses at Loyola University.
Cari is the parent of a young adult son who has a disability. He attended Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Kingsley Elementary School K-5th, a therapeutic day school 6th-12th grade and graduated from Evanston Township High School. She knows first-hand the struggle, stress and relentless effort and creativity it requires to parent a child with a disability, and that navigating the special education system is particularly challenging. Motivated by this experience, she dedicated her professional efforts toward supporting and advocating for families affected by special needs. Cari has been a special education advocate since 2006 and she founded Evanston CASE in 2008.
Before becoming the parent of a child with special needs, Katie Smith worked professionally in the private and public sector. She has a wide range of nonprofit experience in the areas of fundraising, donor relations, strategic planning and board development. During the years she spent as a stay-at-home parent, she maintained a robust schedule of board and volunteer work with several nonprofits. Katie provides CASE with a unique combination of her personal parenting experience, along with her professional expertise in fundraising and development. She is focused on promoting the mission of CASE with Evanston community providers and business owners. Katie believes strongly in the importance of developing a “safe haven” and community hub for parents and caregivers who are raising children with special needs
Katie earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Sociology at Northern Michigan University and completed a program at the Bader International Study Centre in England.