Frederick County Circuit Judge Julie Stevenson Solt swore in new court appointed special advocates this month.

Joining the CASA of Frederick County program are Vera Barefield, Cheryl Giganti, Jason Smith and Sandra Wastler, all of Frederick, as well as Brian Neville, of Emmitsburg, Glen Zior, of Mount Airy, Terry Kasmarzyk, of Walkersville, and Barbara Diaz, of Westminster.

Advocates meet with assigned children regularly to get to know them, attend court hearings with the children and make recommendations to the court about the children’s best interests.

About 120 children are in foster care in Frederick County under the protection of the courts, according to a CASA news release. More than half need CASA volunteers.

“I have always been pained to hear of children who are denied the opportunity to grow up in a safe and loving family through no fault of their own,” Smith said in a statement. “As a CASA [volunteer], I hope to help a child receive the resources and support they need to grow up in a safe and loving home with nothing holding them back.”

Neville said in a statement that he and his wife heard of the CASA program while they were training to become foster parents in California.

“When we moved here, we thought again about foster care, but we felt that CASA was a better fit right now, as it’s still a great way for me to participate in helping foster youth,” he added.

For more information about being a CASA volunteer, go to or call 301-663-0011.

— Kelsi Loos

To view the original article from the Frederick News Post, click here.