Maryland CASA

Lower Shore CASA

c/o Worcester Youth & Family Counseling Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 925
Berlin, MD 21811

Phone: (410) 641-4598
Fax: (410) 641-4696
Web: www.gowoyo.org/court-appointed-special-advocate

What is Lower Shore CASA?

Lower Shore CASA is a program of Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services, Inc., a non-profit organization. The CASA program was started in 2002 to try and effectively reach all abused and neglected children in Worcester County. It is our duty to ensure that the children have safe, permanent and loving homes. With the service of 111 volunteers Lower Shore CASA has been able to help 278 children.

A Message from the Director

Thank you for your interest in Lower Shore CASA and for wanting to help the children in Worcester County. I am pleased to announce that we are currently serving every child in Worcester County who is involved with the court system due to abuse or neglect. I want to continue to give every single child a volunteer and the support they need. With your help and commitment we can work together and provide for the children. Please contact us for more information on how you can help today!

Brigitte Southworth, Director

What is the need?

  • 37 Children are under court protection as a result of abuse and neglect
  • 59 Children have been served by Lower Shore CASA in the past year
  • 7 Children are in need of CASA volunteers
  • The program is in need of volunteers, especially Male Volunteers and African American Volunteers

How can you help?

  • Become a Court Appointed Special Advocate
  • Help with a Fundraiser
  • Support the program financially

What Does a CASA Volunteer Do?

Gather Facts though independent research

Make Recommendations in a written court report to the judge

Give Oral Testimony in court, upon request

Ensure court-ordered services are provided in a timely manner

Provide Emotional Support to the child during stressful court proceedings and beyond

Volunteer Spotlight: Patricia Schumaker

Patricia SchumakerAge: 68

CASA Program Affiliation: Lower Shore (Worcester County) since 2008

Occupation: I am a 68 year old a retired business owner. Running a business requires energy, motivation and team work.  After I retired I found CASA the perfect way to use my talents; to give back to my community and to help the unheard voices of its children silenced by abuse and neglect.  I love CASA for its purity. There are no agendas, only a child waiting for help.

Motivation for Becoming a CASA Volunteer: Since 2008 I have been the advocate for four children in four separate cases. My first two cases were teenagers; both aging out at 18, with a 10th and 8th grade education respectively. They are both now 24 years old each with two children of their own.  I have helped over the past seven years with job hunts, personal problems, obtaining a driver’s license, securing transportation, and finding homes for them and their children; my biggest hurdle and most heartbreaking was the hunger, homelessness and self-sabotage they both faced. Firsthand experience has shown me, at least in these two cases that abandonment issues are destructive and debilitating and must be addressed for our youth aging out of the system before they are able to successfully face life’s many challenges. Building trust with a child is the cornerstone of a CASA’s work; because of my training my third child was able to trust me with her secret of abuse, successfully stopping her scheduled placement with her abuser.

Current Case: My present case is a young child; after 2 ½ years this case will come to a close soon. I have devoted 700 hours to make sure this severely injured child’s voice was heard, and it was. This was my first case where the court was presented with two different opinions as to this child’s placement. Having devoted so many hours with all the parties in this case I was able to give my opinion based on first hand observations and undisputed facts. I am very proud of the outcome of this case, but understand that to help a child requires team work and I feel I have the best.  Over the years I needed feedback, direction, moral support and just someone to listen to my concerns and setbacks; my supervisor never let me down. My success is also hers.