Health
Thursday, April 24, 2003
Advocates needed for abused children
The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA Program in the Delaware Family Court needs concerned and qualified adults to serve as trained CASA volunteers. As a CASA volunteer you will make a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children. You will be appointed by a Family Court Judge to represent the best interests of a child by conducting an independent investigation into the child’s life, by presenting facts and recommendations to a judge, and by monitoring cases for the Court. You will work with attorneys, social workers, and family members. Your goal will be to make sure that each child ultimately has a safe and permanent home. CASA volunteers come from a variety of professional, educational, and ethnic backgrounds. They are selected on the basis of their objectivity, competence, and commitment. Ongoing support for the volunteers in the program includes: training, supervision, and attorney representation. completion of a five-day initial training program is required. At any point in time, about 800 children in Delaware are placed in foster care because of abuse or neglect. About 50 new children enter the foster care system each month. You can help assure that every child has the opportunity to be raised in a concerned and committed family. Call the CASA office in Family Court at 855-7410 or 7411. Application deadline is June 3. The next training program will be held in Georgetown in June.

National Volunteer Week
Nanticoke Health Services joins communities across the nation in celebrating National Volunteer Week, April 27 – May 3. According to Jean Baldwin, manager of Auxiliary/Volunteer Services, “Nanticoke Health Services will show their appreciation and give recognition to the hundreds of citizens who actively volunteer their time and talents to the betterment of their community.” The highlight of volunteer week will be the banquet on May 1 at 5 p.m. at the Laurel Fire Hall where many volunteers will be recognized for their dedication and commitment and the Volunteer of the Year will be announced. The dedicated volunteers of Nanticoke Health Services gave over 42,000 hours of service to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, LifeCare at Lofland Park, Small Wonders and Seaford High School Wellness Center during 2002. To learn more about becoming a Nanticoke Volunteer, contact the Volunteer office at 629-6611, ext. 2301.

Pediatric first aid
Parents, teachers, and day care providers can increase their caregiving and safety skills with a course in pediatric first aid at Delaware Tech, Owens Campus, Georgetown. Pediatric First Aid covers managing pediatric emergencies including but not limited to: convulsions, burns, insect bites, poisoning, drowning, fractures and sprains. The course is approved by the Office of Child Care Licensing. The next session meets Tuesday and Thursday, April 29-May 1. The cost is $30; all classes meet from 6 to 9 p.m. Call Corporate and Community Programs at 855-5988.
Marrow donor registry
You could save someone's life if you join the National Marrow Donor Program Registry. Each year, more than 30,000 children and adults are diagnosed with leukemia and other diseases for which a stem cell transplant may be the only cure. Only 30 percent of these people will find matching donors within their families. The others will look to the National Marrow Donor Program Registry for a potential life-saving match. At any given time, 3,000 patients are searching the donor registry for a potentially life-saving stem cell donor. “Over the last decade, the registry has grown significantly, which has enabled more patients than ever before to receive transplants for life-threatening diseases,” explains Stephen J. Forman, chair of the transplantation program at City of Hope Cancer Center in Los Angeles. “In the 27 years since our first successful transplant, medical advances in this field have given thousands of people worldwide a second chance at life,” Forman continues. “The only way to ensure that a greater number of patients will find matching donors in the future is for more people to join the National Marrow Donor Program Registry.” Ethnic minorities are strongly encouraged to register because they are under-represented. For more information on registering, call 1-800-MARROW-2 or visit www.marrow.org.

Free child seat checks
Most parents and caregivers put a lot of effort into installing and securing their children in car seats and think they are using them correctly. Still, statistics from Delaware car seat checks in 2002 have found that 82 percent were being used incorrectly. Child car seat checks promoting child safety in motor vehicles are held periodically throughout Sussex County. Certified child passenger technicians educate parents and caregivers on the proper use of vehicle restraints, check for manufacturer recalls, and assist with the correct installation of their child car seats. Car seat check is scheduled for Monday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to noon at Seaford Parks and Recreation, Virginia Avenue, Seaford. Many organizations offer free child car seat checks by appointment as well. For more information on child passenger safety or to arrange for a car seat inspection, contact the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension’s Community Traffic Safety Program Coordinator at 856-2585, ext. 326.

Families in Crisis
“Building Stronger Families” is the theme of this year’s Families in Crisis Conference, to be held on Friday, May 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Delaware Technical & Community College, Owens Campus, Georgetown. The conference focuses on helping individuals and organizations improve the quality of social service delivery on Delmarva. Nurses, health care workers, and counselors can earn continuing education credits and gain valuable information from conference presentations, workshops, exhibits, and networking opportunities. Keynote speaker Raymond E. Lloyd Jr. will discuss the building blocks that create the foundation for strong, loving families. Lloyd served as department chair for the human services program at the Owens Campus for 22 years and published his first book, “Journey of Life,” after his retirement. Workshop sessions will address a variety of topics including caring for aging parents, reducing family stress prior to medical procedures, meeting the challenges of raising adolescents, using laughter to deal with stress, and more. The conference cost, including meals, is $30 for the general public, $10 for Delaware Tech students, and $15 for partnership students from the University of Delaware, Wilmington College, Delaware State University, and Salisbury University. Contact Corporate and Community Programs at 854-6966.