Kim Holm – Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)
DUTIES: Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA’s) are trained to advocate for children in the child welfare system. A CASA develops a relationship with the child he/she advocates for and closely follows the child’s case to ensure the child receives needed services. The ultimate goal is seeing the child placed in a safe, permanent home.
PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Kim was born in 1956 and raised in Minnesota, as a middle child in a family with eleven kids. In 1979, Kim, his wife, and their one-year-old son moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee when Kim took a job working in Ringgold, Georgia. In 1994, Kim and his wife moved with their, then, three kids to Wilmington, Delaware when Kim accepted a job in Salem, New Jersey. Kim spent his professional career, as an executive for Salem Carpet Mills and then Mannington Mills Inc. Kim retired in 2014 and subsequently moved to Millsboro, Delaware, where he resides with his wife.
Following his retirement, Kim looked for things to keep him busy. When he became bored with fishing, Kim searched volunteer jobs on-line and found the CASA program. The opportunity described appealed to Kim and appeared fulfilling. Kim applied and ultimately went to work for Worcester Youth & Family’s CASA program as a CASA.
BEST PART OF YOUR VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE: “The best part of being a CASA is when you have made something good happen for your child. Large or small it doesn’t really matter, but creating anything positive for your child is gratifying.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU HAVE FACED: “My biggest challenge thus far has been garnering the trust of the children I have worked with. These kids have in many cases met disappointment at every turn and can be protective of who they let in to their world.”
WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE OTHERS TO KNOW: “Being a CASA is both an honor and an obligation. If you are going to get involved with a child you better do your ultimate best to make a positive impact on the child.”
CASA PROGRAM STAFF STATEMENT ABOUT KIM: Once trained, Kim jumped right into his advocacy efforts and within the course of one year was advocating for 3 different children, from 3 separate families. Kim typically spends more than 60 hours per month volunteering through CASA. To say that Kim is dedicated to the cause is an understatement. He has gone above and beyond in efforts to develop genuine relationships with the children he represents, as well as strongly advocate for their best interests. Kim’s dedication to these extremely vulnerable children is unmatched.
*The number of hours Kim spends advocating for children is exceptional; most volunteers average 10 hours of service per month as a CASA. WYFCS’ CASA is currently accepting applications for new volunteers. Please contact Angie Manos, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Brigitte Southworth, email@example.com, if you might be interested!
On Wednesday, December 6, WYFCS received two grants that will expand access to mental healthcare in the region. The Maryland Community Health Resources Commission and the The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. contributed $125,000 each to support service expansion at WYFCS. The grants will enable WYFCS to hire two clinicians to provide mental health services. Our agency can’t thank these two phenomenal organizations enough for their support!
WYFCS is recruiting volunteers for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). A CASA volunteer, is a court-appointed, trained, and committed adult who represents and advocates for a child’s best interest in the child protection system. By becoming a CASA volunteer, you can help keep abused and neglected children safe, giving them a chance at finding happiness. If interested, please contact Brigitte Southworth at 410-641-4598.
Worcester Youth and Family is proud to receive the Non-Profit of the Year Award through the Greater Ocean City, Maryland Chamber of Commerce! WYFCS has been serving the community since 1975 and we continually strive to increase awareness about mental health and make a difference in the lives of the people we serve. Thank you everybody for the support!
WYFCS has been nominated by Senator Chris Van Hollen and named one of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) Angels in Adoption honorees. The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the millions of children around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving homes and to eliminating the barriers that hinder these children from realizing their basic right to a family. Each year, the Angels in Adoption program honor a wide spectrum of individuals and organizations making extraordinary contributions to adoption, permanency and child welfare.
Congratulations to Dr. Jen, Psy.D. on receiving the Coastal Style Best Of Award for Psychologist! Dr. Jen has been practicing for over 20 years and has been with WYFCS for the past 9 years. WYFCS and the community is lucky to have her as she is both an expert in the profession and an amazing Clinical Director. Thank you Dr. Jen for all that you do!