On April 18, 2018, Piazza Italian Market hosted its first evening event at their dining room, a cocktail party for the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) organization. CASA of the Mid-Shore held this event to thank its many volunteers from Talbot, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s, and Kent Counties who stand against child abuse and take action by advocating for maltreated children. Attendees were CASA’s Board of Directors, staff, local judges and magistrates and many CASA volunteers. Each guest was presented with a blue pinwheel, the national symbol for child abuse prevention. Reflecting hope, health and safety, the pinwheels are an uplifting symbol of childhood that mirror CASA’s own goal to advocate for every child’s right to a safe, permanent home.
CASA of the Mid Shore is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to provide Court Appointed Special Advocates to all children who are under court protection in Talbot, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s or Kent Circuit Court due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or their parents’ inability to safely care for them.
CASA volunteers are adults from the community who are screened, trained, and supervised by professional staff members. When a CASA volunteer is appointed by a judge to a child’s case, the CASAs are officers of the court and, as such, are ordered to make assessments and recommendations to the judge regarding the best interest of the child to whom they are appointed. He or she is responsible for taking the time to learn as much as possible about the child. CASA volunteers search for information that might be helpful to the court by talking with parents, teachers, relatives, physicians, therapists, attorneys, social workers, and others. They work closely with all agencies involved with each child. Most importantly, the CASAs get to know the child, and frequently become one of the most consistent adults in the child’s life. Then, the CASAs provide a written report to the court with recommendations as to what is in each child’s best interest.
Over the past 28 years, CASA has grown to the point that they are able to provide a CASA volunteer to close to 100% of the children under the protection of the Talbot and Dorchester County Circuit Courts. They are currently accepting applications from residents of Talbot, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s and Kent Counties who are interested in applying to become Court Appointed Special Advocates for children under court protection. To learn more about CASA or to support CASA of the Mid Shore, please contact Jane Crawford at 410-822-2866, ext. 6, or visit www.casamidshore.org.
For more information about reserving Piazza’s dining room for evening corporate or private events, please contact Emily Chandler or Jennifer Martella at 410-820-8281.