SALISBURY — The Lower Shore CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) program — serving children in the child welfare system in Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties — is offering free training beginning Aug. 1 for volunteer advocates. The format is self-paced online learning supplemented with virtual training sessions.
According to Lower Shore CASA director Jerrona Smith, the only qualifications to be a volunteer advocate are to have a desire to serve children in need and be at least 21 years of age. “The recent expansion of Lower Shore CASA gives us the opportunity to serve many more abused and neglected children. To make sure they end up in a safe and permanent home, we need caring volunteers to advocate for them.”
A CASA volunteer is caring adult appointed by the court to get to know the child and advocate for the child’s best interests. This volunteer offers another perspective to that of the professionals helping the child, e.g., social worker, attorney, therapist(s).
Before Lower Shore CASA expanded this month into Somerset and Wicomico counties, each year approximately 45 CASAs advocated for approximately 65 vulnerable children in Worcester County alone.
To learn more about how to make a difference in the lives of children who have been removed from homes for their own safety and to apply to become a volunteer, visit Lower Shore CASA or call 443-782-3585. You can also watch for updates on Facebook.