AUGUSTA — The Maine Court Appointed Special Advocates program is seeking volunteers to serve as advocates for children in child protection court cases.

The spring training for volunteer advocates will be held from March 7 to 10. The four-day training is free.

Attendees learn about all aspects of child advocacy work in order to be certified as a volunteer guardian ad litem for the Maine District Court.

Maine CASAs are community volunteers who are appointed to serve as advocates, called guardians ad litem, for children 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 getting to know the child so he or she can tell the judge what the child wishes.

CASAs come from a wide variety of professional and personal backgrounds and are guided throughout the process by staff attorneys. CASAs bring a unique perspective from their own life and community to their work as a volunteer.

Last year, approximately 350 children involved in a child protection court case had a volunteer CASA who served as the child’s voice in court. Right now, there are more foster children than CASA volunteers.

Elegible volunteers should be 21 or older, able to complete a background check and have a high school diploma or GED equivalent; specialized training is not required to apply.

FMI: www.casaofmaine.org, facebook.com/MaineCasa, 207-213-2864, [email protected]


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