CASA ac­cept­ing vol­un­teer ap­pli­ca­tions

Dorchester Star - - Regional -

CAM­BRIDGE — CASA of the Mid-Shore is ac­cept­ing ap­pli­ca­tions from res­i­dents of Dorch­ester, Tal­bot, Queen Anne’s, and Kent coun­ties who are in­ter­ested in be­com­ing a CASA (Court Ap­pointed Spe­cial Ad­vo­cate) vol­un­teer.

Work­ing with CASA of the Mid-Shore, vol­un­teer Court Ap­pointed Spe­cial Ad­vo­cates give their time, en­ergy and their com­pas­sion in an ef­fort to cre­ate real, last­ing and pos­i­tive change for lo­cal chil­dren. All Tal­bot, Dorch­ester, Queen Anne’s, and Kent County chil­dren served by CASA of the Mid-Shore are un­der the pro­tec­tion of the court due to abuse, ne­glect or aban­don­ment.

CASA said the chil­dren face ma­jor bar­ri­ers dur­ing their jour­neys to safe, per­ma­nent homes, of­ten chang­ing schools and place­ments mul­ti­ple times. CASA said ev­ery child de­serves in­di­vid­ual ad­vo­cacy re­gard­ing their best in­ter­est, which is where CASA comes in.

CASA vol­un­teers are as­signed to work with one child at a time. CASA vol­un­teers re­search their ap­pointed child’s back­ground, get to know the child, iden­tify the child’s needs, at­tend court hear­ings and make rec­om­men­da­tions to as­sist the judge in mak­ing de­ci­sions that are in the child’s best in­ter est. CASA closely fol­lows the case to en­sure that each child re­ceives needed ser­vices with the ul­ti­mate goal of see­ing the child placed in a safe, per­ma­nent home.

“I am there for my ap­pointed child; al­ways nearby, to spend time, to lis­ten, to talk,” said CASA Vol­un­teer and Dorch­ester County na­tive James Pin­kett. “I am a friend that cares about his well be­ing, his sit­u­a­tion and his fu­ture.

“Over time, that sets a child at ease and he be­gins to re­lax,” he said. “That’s how I build trust. My heart re­ally smiles when I know he is do­ing well, I see him be­gin to feel hope­ful; only then can he can start to dream about his fu­ture. To me, to lift up a child’s life is to of­fer hope, trust and safety — only then can he be­gin to be­lieve in a pos­i­tive fu­ture.”

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.casamid­shore.org or call Vol­un­teer Co­or­di­na­tor Jane Craw­ford at 410-8222866, ext. 6.

JAMES PIN­KETT

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