FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2016
Annapolis, MD – More than 200 volunteer advocates, children’s attorneys and child welfare professionals will converge on Annapolis on Saturday, April 1, 2017, for Maryland Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association’s 11th Annual Conference, entitled “Standing Strong For Children & Youth.”
The conference, held at the Judicial College Education & Conference Center (JCECC), is an opportunity for volunteer advocates and child welfare professionals to hone their skills and become better advocates for Maryland’s abused and neglected children.
The event will feature keynote speaker Mr. Chauncey Strong, a national child welfare trainer, consultant, and motivational speaker. He is a committed advocate for children and families and has dedicated his career to helping improve the outcomes for children and families involved in the child welfare system. Chauncey has an insider’s view of the foster care system and has worked in both private and public child welfare settings. Bringing over 23 years of experience to the table, Chauncey is set to deliver a truly inspiring keynote address.
“Finding a permanent family for children and youth in foster care requires dedication and intentional collaboration from all those who serve abused and neglected children,” said Strong, a Foster Care Supervisor in Virginia. “During the conference, I am excited to share strategies and thoughts on the importance of family and sibling connections for youth in care,” he added.
Also attending the event is Ms. Tiffany Robinson, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor, who will present a Citation on behalf of Gov. Larry Hogan, officially recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time dedicated to acknowledging the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect.
“We’re excited to launch our Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign at our annual conference and to have the Governor’s recognition of CASA as an important player in protecting children in Maryland,” said Ed Kilcullen, State Director for Maryland CASA Association.
The conference will serve as the organization’s launch of a month-long social media awareness campaign highlighting the needs of Maryland’s nearly 5,000 abused and neglected children, as well as a volunteer recruitment campaign, during which a minimum of 60 community members will be recruited to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for children in need.
“The conference is a great opportunity for CASA volunteers from across the state to meet, share tips and encourage one another while learning important new information and developing their skills,” added Kilcullen. “With the recent viral video showing the peril some children face, it’s an especially critical time to raise awareness and empower citizens to take an active role in protecting children.”
About Maryland CASA Association
Maryland (Court Appointed Special Advocates) CASA Association is the statewide organization for 15 local CASA programs that recruit and train volunteers to advocate for children in the child protection system. Last year, 1,371 CASA volunteers served 1,589 children in 21 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions. Maryland CASA supports the local CASA programs by providing training and technical assistance to program staff, board, and volunteers, as well as increasing public awareness of CASA and assisting with program development. For more information about Maryland CASA or becoming a CASA volunteer, visit www.marylandcasa.org or call 410-828-6761.