Maryland CASA

Voices for Children of Carroll County, Inc.

255 Clifton Boulevard, Suite 311
Westminster, MD 21157

Phone: (410) 840-2495
Fax: (410) 840-2497
Web: https://fcmha.org/how-we-help/court-appointed-special-advocates

What is Voices for Children - Carroll County?

Voices for Children of Carroll County is a program of the Mental Health Association of Frederick County, a not-for-profit agency. Voices for Children was founded in 2000 by the Circuit Court and a group of concerned citizens and professionals who believed that abused and neglected children in Carroll County needed a CASA program to help them reach safe, permanent homes. Voices for Children of Carroll County serves 40 children through the work of 30 CASA volunteers.

A Message from the Director

Carroll County is a wonderful place to live and work; however, it is also a place where children sometimes enter the court system through no fault of their own, due to abuse or neglect. Voices for Children is committed to connecting every child under the court’s care with a screened, trained advocate from our  community. Volunteering as a CASA is one way that a person can make a difference. CASAs are the “eyes and ears of the court,” assisting the court in achieving a safe and permanent home for every child by delivering objective information and recommendations that focus strictly on each child’s best interest. We celebrate when barriers for successful parenting come down and families are reunited. We also celebrate with children when they find a permanent home and exit the temporary care of the state. We seek volunteers from all backgrounds to support positive outcomes for children!

Jennifer Fuss, Program Manager

What is the need?

  • 30-40 children are under court protection in Carroll County as a result of abuse and neglect
  • 35 children have been served by Voices for Children Carroll County in the past year
  • Children coming into the court system in Carroll County are in need of CASA  volunteers

How Can You Help?

Become a COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATE VOLUNTEER
Become a BOARD MEMBER
Become a CORPORATE PARTNER
Become a FRIEND OF CASA
Make a FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION
Help with a FUND RAISER

Volunteer Spotlight: Patricia Stack

Patty StackAge:  65 years old

Occupation:  Retired Human Resource Professional

Volunteer for:  Voices for Children of Carroll County

Motivation for becoming a CASA:  Upon retirement, I was determined to find something meaningful to do with my free time.  My daughter, who is a therapist and works with CASA’s involved in her own cases, suggested that I look into my local CASA Program. From my very first training class I knew that this is where I could make a significant difference and I realized that this was what I definitely wanted to do. I also discovered that my acquired HR skills – listening, observing, interviewing, problem-solving, writing and looking at every situation objectively – could easily transition into this new role and serve me well.  Although I had no experience in working with children (aside from raising my own two daughters) and no personal experience with the foster care system, I’ve always been drawn to helping others. This would just be a new venue for me and I was ready to do whatever I could to serve as an advocate for children facing so much difficulty in their lives.

Current Case:  For the past 18 months I have been a CASA for a little girl who just turned 2 years old.  She has been in two foster homes since birth and in her current placement for over a year.  As this is my first case, I have not been in a situation where I have had the opportunity to connect through conversation.  Instead I have spent a lot of time getting to know the foster family and observing this little girl from infant to toddler stage. This has given me new perspective on the challenges foster parents face which will be valuable insight in future cases I may have. As for this particular child, she is thriving and it has been a joy to watch her grow and bond with her foster family.

Challenges Facing Today’s Foster Children & Youth: Having only had experience with a very young child who was removed at birth, I would say that the biggest challenge is securing a permanent placement as quickly as possible, whether this be reunification with the biological parents or adoption. All studies indicate that attachment to a caregiver in the early years (0-3) provides a necessary sense of security and foundation for the child.  In most cases, reunification with the biological family is the common goal and much depends on the parent(s) readiness to change. Whether appropriate change does or does not occur, time is critical for this young child who needs permanent and consistent caretaking in order to thrive.