CASA Program Expands to Serve Children in Four Shore Counties

casa of the mid shore

Left photograph- From L to R: Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court Master Jean Meta, CASA of the Mid-Shore Executive Director Robin Davenport, and Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Ross gather with Queen Anne’s County Department of Social Services Assistant Director Susan Coppage, Foster Care Supervisor Terri Lowther, and Case Worker Shannon Dean.

Right photograph- From L to R: Kent County Department of Social Services Director Linda C. Webb, the Honorable Paul M. Bowman, and CASA of the Mid-Shore Executive Director Robin Davenport pose in the Kent County Circuit Court during a court recess

On July 1, 2014 CASA of Talbot and Dorchester Counties officially expanded its program services to include abused and neglected children in Queen Anne’s and Kent Counties. In order to better reflect all the counties being served, the program has changed its name to CASA of the Mid-Shore and will now serve Children in Need of Assistance in Talbot, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s and Kent Counties under one unified organization. This expansion is a result of thoughtful deliberations and discussions between Board members, CASA Staff, judges, agency partners, and Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers regarding the benefits of a regional program. Many CASA programs across the country are successful using a multi-county jurisdiction model and there is increasing support on the local, state, and national levels for the development of this model.

CASA Executive Director Robin Davenport has been at the helm of this child advocacy organization since 1990, when CASA was incorporated as a private, nonprofit organization in Talbot County. Program services expanded in 2009 to serve children in Dorchester County. Prior to joining CASA, Davenport was a Child Protective Services case worker with the Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services and then served for 7 years as the Director of the Victim Witness Center in the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office.“We are deeply grateful for the welcoming support that we have received from the Circuit Court judges, maste, and the Directors of the local Departments of Social Services in the counties of our expanded region. We look forward to working with many community leaders and citizens as we work together to improve the lives of vulnerable children on the Mid-Shore," Davenport stated.

Court Appointed Special Advocates are empowered by the courts to provide judges with important information they need to ensure that each child’s rights and needs are being met. Judges highly value CASA’s commendations which help them informed decisions in the child’s best interest. Queen Anne's County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Ross recently indicated that CASA "provides a vital service in support of this Court's goal of providing children with swift results and lasting permanency in situations where they are removed from the custody of their parents." Agreeing with this, Kent County Circuit Court Judge Paul Bowman has offered his strong support and assistance as this CASA program expands to include children in Queen Anne's and Kent Counties. CASA of the Mid-Shore is a member of the Maryland CASA Association as well as the National CASA Association, a network of more than 900 CASA programs serving children in 49 states and Washington, DC.

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