AUGUSTA, Maine — Interested in speaking up for Maine foster children? The Maine Court Appointed Special Advocates Program is holding its spring training for court appointed child advocates March 4-7, in Augusta. The four-day training is free and you will learn about all aspects of child advocacy work so you can be certified as a volunteer guardian ad litem for the courts.
Maine CASAs are community volunteers who are appointed by the court to serve as guardians ad litem for a child whose parents are involved in a child protection court case. CASAs conduct an investigation and then advise the judge in writing of what they believe is in the child’s best interest. The foundation of the CASA’s work is listening to and letting the judge know what the child wishes, according to Maine CASA Program Manager Libby McCullum, Esq., and Maine CASAs excel in that area.
CASAs come from a wide variety of professional and personal backgrounds and are guided throughout the process by staff attorneys. CASAs each bring a unique perspective from their own life and community to their work as a volunteer.
Last year almost 370 children involved in a child protection court case had a volunteer CASA whose job was to be the child’s voice in court. Right now there are more cases than CASA volunteers. If you have a big heart and are willing to speak up for a Maine child, apply to become a CASA volunteer. You do not need any special training to apply other than having a high school diploma or GED equivalent. You must be over 21. Along with the application you will also need to provide three references and will must complete a background check that includes criminal and child protection history.
Are you ready to stand up for a child who needs you? Our next training is March 4-7. You can find out more about the Maine CASA Program by visiting our website at www.casaofmaine.org. Please “like” us on Facebook at Maine CASA.
For more information about Maine CASA or about becoming a volunteer, contact Volunteer Coordinator, Tracy Leigh, Esq. at 287-5829 or e-mail: Tracy.Leigh@courts.maine.gov.