CASA of Caroline

Our History

In 2003, over 300 cases of abuse or neglect were investigated by the Caroline County Department of Social Services. Approximately 50 children were in foster care at the end of that year. Each child who was removed from their parents’ home was involved in a lengthy court process. A group of concerned citizens recognized the need for someone to watch out for the best interest of foster care children.  Spearheaded by then Circuit Court Judge J. Owen Wise, who had seen firsthand the positive results of CASA advocacy, CASA of Caroline became operational in September 2003. 

Below is a brief history as told by our founder, The Honorable Judge J. Owen Wise.

Although the concept of CASA was firmly rooted in other states across the country and other counties in Maryland, its introduction to Caroline County was a challenge.  It was akin to introducing a foreign language.  Most people thought any child in the juvenile court system must have done something wrong to be there.  One of the first hurdles was getting people at large to accept the fact that the children CASA deals with are victims and are part of the juvenile system due to no fault of their own.  It remains a hurdle to this day.

 

In addition, we had to convince people (including public officials) that the needs of these children were not being met.  Many people assumed if a case was opened on a child it meant the child’s needs were being met and the child was ok.
Aside from this general education goal we commenced recruiting board members and potential advocates.  We found retired teachers to be a good resource because they recognized the problem and saw the unmet needs.  They also recognized each of these children’s situations was different and a one-on-one approach was most appropriate.  Personifying CASA children was (and is) one of our most difficult challenges because of confidentiality, but it seems to be the most effective tool to acquaint people with our mission.
We also had the usual start-up requirements for any non-profit organization and getting approval from governing agencies took some time and effort.  The Caroline County public library proved to be a suitable meeting location.
We were fortunate in locating office space in the Law Building across from the court.  We were also fortunate in hiring Joanne Staples as our first Executive Director; she had retired from a career in social services, most of which was local and involved both case work and administration.  We had the usual start-up staffing problems of deciding what positions we needed and then finding the right people to fill them.
We then set about training our first class of advocates and building relationships with the court and social services.  All the while we were seeking funding, both public and private, and holding fundraisers.  Many county businesses were willing contributors once we were able to convey CASA’s mission to them.
From time to time I have been given credit for starting CASA of Caroline and I want to put that in a proper light.  As many of you know, CASA was actually the brainchild of a judge in Washington State.  CASA existed in many counties in Maryland before we started it in Caroline County.  All we did was take an existing concept and brought it here to serve the children of our county.
The reason CASA exists in this county today is because of the selfless time and efforts of many of you who came after the originators.  We all know that through CASA we have saved many children from further abuse and neglect. 

It has been said that the reason that we don’t pay volunteers is not because they are worthless but because they are priceless. Keep up your unheralded good work!

It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.

Tom Brokaw

Make a Financial Contribution:
Become a Community Partner

We believe strong communities build strong families.  Community Partners make a commitment to the children of Caroline County by providing us with financial support as well as the opportunity to meet and connect with folks who are interested in taking our training course and becoming the person who makes a real difference in a foster care child's life. Partnership Program Brochure

Make an In-Kind Donation:
Cleaning out your home or office?  There are many things we could use in our CASA office!
  • Office supplies like copy paper, file folders, etc.
  • Non-perishable food and beverages to be used during trainings.
  • Gift cards for gas or restaurants that our CASA's could use during their visits with their child
  • Gift cards or items for the auction at our annual fundraiser.
Other Ways to Support:
  • Host an event such as a car wash, bake sale, etc. to benefit CASA of Caroline.
  • Shop AmazonSmile and designate CASA of Caroline as your charity of choice.
  • Invite us to come present to your group, organization or workplace.
  • Stay connected with us by signing up for our newsletter and e-mail updates. 

Get In Touch

13 + 8 =

Call

(410)-479-8301

Email

carolinecasa@verizon.net

Address

114 Market Street, Suite 100
Denton, MD 21629

Fax

(410) 479-8302

Pinwheels For Prevention

Pinwheels For Prevention

Denton -      April, 2021   Denton - CASA of Caroline recognized April's Child Abuse Prevention Month with activities to get the entire community involved. The month kicked-off with a Pinwheel Planting Ceremony in the Denton Community Garden on...

Holiday 2020 Volunteer Appreciation

Holiday 2020 Volunteer Appreciation

Denton -  Volunteers are the backbone of CASA of Caroline.  While it's not possible to fully express our gratitude for these local superheroes, we honor them every year at our Holiday Dinner.  This year, as a result of the pandemic, we had to look outside the box to...

Bullying Prevention

Bullying Prevention

Denton - October is National Bullying Prevention Month.  CASA of Caroline has partnered with Character Counts Mid-Shore, Caroline County Family YMCA and Caroline County Public Schools to raise awareness around prevention of bullying and cyberbullying.  "Character...

CASA Volunteers Sworn in During Stay-At-Home Orders

CASA Volunteers Sworn in During Stay-At-Home Orders

Denton - On Wednesday, June 10, CASA of Caroline proudly welcomed three new Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers who were sworn in by Circuit Court Judge Jonathan Newell.  Sworn in were: Ann Anthony, Julie...

Pinwheels For Child Abuse Prevention

Pinwheels For Child Abuse Prevention

CASA of Caroline, The Caroline County YMCA/Mentoring Program and Caroline's Agape Project are joining together to support Pinwheels For Prevention, a campaign to promote awareness of child abuse.  Pinwheels are the national symbol for the great childhoods all...

Child Abuse Prevention Month: Pinwheels For Prevention

April, 2021

Denton - CASA of Caroline recognized April's Child Abuse Prevention Month with activities to get the entire community involved and raise awareness of child abuse and its prevention.  This year's national theme, Thriving Children & Families: Prevention with a Purposerecognized the importance of communities working together to help families thrive and prevent child maltreatment. 

The month kicked-off with a Pinwheel Planting ceremony in the Denton Community Garden on Saturday, April 3.  Elected officials, members of the community, and CASA volunteers, board members and staff "planted" pinwheels to raise awareness.  Throuhgout the month, students from CCPS colored 261 pinwheels to fill the CASA of Caroline windows.   Pinwheel displays were created around the county by groups including Community Club of Preston, Preston Historical Society, Caroline County Sheriff's Department, Federalsburg and Denton Police Departments, Choptank Transport, and others who wanted to show their support for the happy, healthy childhoods all kids deserve! 

Pinwheels were available for folks to create their own pinwheel displays thanks Denton Rotary, Purple Peake CBD, and Caroline County State's Attorney Joe Riley, this year's pinwheel sponsors.  Special thanks to Greensboro Pharmacy, Ridgely Pharmacy, Patti's Petals, The Foundry, Purple Peake, Joviality, Shore United Denton Branch, Federalsburg Family Restaurant and Katie Mae's in Preston for making the pinwheels available for the public!  We were truly awed by the outpouring of support from the Caroline County community and thank everyone for their involvement and helping us create awareness of this very important issue!  

 

 

  Thank you to our 2021 Pinwheel Sponsors!
Pinwheels For Prevention

Pinwheels For Prevention

Denton -      April, 2021   Denton - CASA of Caroline recognized April's Child Abuse Prevention Month with activities to get the entire community involved. The month kicked-off with a Pinwheel Planting Ceremony in the Denton Community Garden on...

Holiday 2020 Volunteer Appreciation

Holiday 2020 Volunteer Appreciation

Denton -  Volunteers are the backbone of CASA of Caroline.  While it's not possible to fully express our gratitude for these local superheroes, we honor them every year at our Holiday Dinner.  This year, as a result of the pandemic, we had to look outside the box to...

Bullying Prevention

Bullying Prevention

Denton - October is National Bullying Prevention Month.  CASA of Caroline has partnered with Character Counts Mid-Shore, Caroline County Family YMCA and Caroline County Public Schools to raise awareness around prevention of bullying and cyberbullying.  "Character...

CASA Volunteers Sworn in During Stay-At-Home Orders

CASA Volunteers Sworn in During Stay-At-Home Orders

Denton - On Wednesday, June 10, CASA of Caroline proudly welcomed three new Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers who were sworn in by Circuit Court Judge Jonathan Newell.  Sworn in were: Ann Anthony, Julie...

Pinwheels For Child Abuse Prevention

Pinwheels For Child Abuse Prevention

CASA of Caroline, The Caroline County YMCA/Mentoring Program and Caroline's Agape Project are joining together to support Pinwheels For Prevention, a campaign to promote awareness of child abuse.  Pinwheels are the national symbol for the great childhoods all...

Child Abuse Awareness Month: Pinwheels For Prevention

"April, 2021

Denton - April is Child Abuse Awareness Month.  This year's national theme, Thriving Children & Families: Prevention with a Purposerecognizes the importance of communities working together to help families thrive and prevent child maltreatment. During the month of April and throughout the year, CASA of Caroline is encouraging our community to increase awareness about child and family well-being, and work together to implement effective strategies that support families and prevent child abuse and neglect.

Please show your support and increase awareness of child abuse by "planting" a pinwheel in the Denton Community Garden during the first weekend in April.  Pinwheels were chosen as the national symbol for Child Abuse Awareness & Prevention because they are a lighthearted and whimsical reminder of childhood and they represent our vision for a world where all children grow up happy, healthy, and prepared to succeed in supportive families and communities.  Pinwheels will be available beginning Friday, April 2 at: Patti's Petals, Joviality, The Foundry, Purple Peake, and other locations around the county.  Please check back here for a complete list.  Thank you to this year's pinwheel sponsors, Denton Rotary and Purple Peake! 

If you're a crafty person, try creating your own pinwheel display using the instructions on this page!  We are also asking for children in the community to help "plant hope" and fill our CASA of Caroline windows with pinwheels. Please use the coloring page below and send it to us using the instructions at the bottom of the coloring sheet.   It will take 240 pinwheels to fill our windows so please "Help Plant Hope"!

We have also developed a full month of activities for you and your family to raise awareness and help prevent child abuse by supporting and encouraging healthy family activities.  Please check out our calendar and find the activities that you and your family will enjoy doing together.  The most important thing we can do to help children thrive is to support families before they reach a crisis.  Please join us in this month-long effort to end child abuse and "Change a Child's Story"!