Dorch­ester CASA vol­un­teers sworn into of­fice

Dorchester Star - - News - By VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE vwingate@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @ vic­to­ri­adorstar and on In­sta­gram@dorch­ester.star.

CAM­BRIDGE — Six of 12 newly trained vol­un­teers in the Court Ap­pointed Spe­cial Ad­vo­cate (CASA) pro­gram were sworn into ser­vice on Thurs­day, Dec. 8 in Dorch­ester County Cir­cuit Court.

The newly sworn CASA of the Mid-Shore vol­un­teers are: Jeannette Cas­salia, JoAnn Kowal­ski, Kath­leen Miller, Robert Neumer, Joyce Or­dun, and Wil­liam Thomas.

They will serve as ad­vo­cates for chil­dren in Dorch­ester and Tal­bot coun­ties.

“Our pro­gram strives to en­sure that all chil­dren un­der court pro­tec­tion due to mal­treat­ment re­ceive needed ser­vices and a safe, per­ma­nent home,” said Robin Daven­port, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the CASA of the Mid-Shore. “CASA vol­un­teers work pas­sion­ately to help im­prove the lives of mal­treated chil­dren to as­sist them in grow­ing to their full potential and giv­ing them hope.”

Dorch­ester County Cir­cuit Court Judge Brett W. Wilson and Mag­is­trate Karen Ket­ter­man presided over the cer­e­mony. The vol­un­teers were sworn by Clerk of the Court Amy Craig.

In her re­marks, Ket­ter­man used the anal­ogy of a light­house to il­lus­trate the role of a CASA vol­un­teer in the life of a child.

“A light­house is con­sis­tent and re­li­able,” Ket­ter­man said. “It’s built on solid ground, to weather storms, and to last for years. A light­house bright­ens the dark­ness to guide ships. His­tor­i­cally, light­houses have saved lives just by be­ing there. That’s what I en­vi­sion, and that’s what I’d like to see for all of you as court ap­pointed spe­cial ad­vo­cates. You’ll be the light in the dark­ness for a child that might oth­er­wise be lost at sea.”

Wilson praised the CASA vol­un­teers for not only lament­ing the suf­fer­ing they see in the world, but also giv­ing of them­selves and their time to en­act pos­i­tive change and lessen that suf­fer­ing.

“We get to do very few joy­ous things here in the court­house,” Wilson said. “What comes to mind as to those things that do bring joy are the swear­ing in of CASA vol­un­teers and adop­tions. The com­mon­al­ity between those two events is chil­dren. In each of those si­t­u­a­tions, we’re mak­ing lives bet­ter for chil­dren.”

He chose a quote from Wil­liam Shake­speare’s Mer­chant of Venice, which paired well with Ket­ter­man’s light­house illustration.

“Look how far that lit­tle can­dle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”

“You folks are throw­ing your beams out into that naughty world to bet­ter the lives of chil­dren,” he said.

In­di­vid­u­als in­ter­ested in learn­ing more about or sup­port­ing CASA’s ser­vices to Tal­bot, Dorch­ester, Queen Anne’s and Kent County chil­dren are en­cour­aged to visit the CASA web­site at www.casamid­shore.org or to con­tact the CASA of­fice at 410-822-2866.

PHOTO BY VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE

Newly sworn CASA vol­un­teers Jeannette Cas­salia, JoAnn Kowal­ski, Kath­leen Miller, Robert Neumer, Joyce Or­dun, and Wil­liam Thomas stand at the bench with Judge Brett W. Wilson and Mag­is­trate Karen Ket­ter­man.

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