Category Archives: Community Outreach

CASA Volunteers – Helping Foster Children Succeed

Attorney Synthia Shilling has a long history of working with children. Before earning her juris doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law, she worked as a teacher for many years in the Howard County Public School District. Today, Synthia Shilling helps children in another way; she volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in foster care.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (known as CASAs) volunteer their time to watch over and advocate for children who were abused and neglected and ended up as wards of a state. CASAs make sure that the children they are appointed to care for do not remain in inappropriate foster care or group homes. They also campaign for the rights and needs of their charges in overburdened judicial and social service systems.

In the United States each year, close to 75,000 CASAs and legal guardians (GALs) work diligently to help some 238,000 neglected and abused foster children to find safe, long-term homes and families. Some 950 CASE programs currently exist in 49 states and the District of Columbia. With approximately 1,900 children victimized by abuse and neglect every day, the demand for CASAs and GALs remains constant. Learn more about this need at