From left are Connie Lucas, Case and Volunteer Manager Natalie Barrionuevo, Alexys Jones, Judge Ashley Gaither, Carolanne Crisp and Eliana Tarver.
Four community members join CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Bradley and Polk County’s team of volunteer advocates after being sworn in by Judge Gaither on June 5.
Each volunteer will go on to advocate for the best interest of a child who is involved in the Bradley or Polk County court system due to an allegation of abuse and neglect.
Prior to being sworn in by the judge, the volunteers completed an extensive 30-hour nationally approved training process conducted by CASA staff members. In addition to the training, each volunteer went through a comprehensive interview process, passed a thorough background check, and completed all the National CASA training requirements.
“I am excited about being an advocate with CASA because I will have the chance to see children end up in safe homes where they can thrive. I have always wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself that provides a voice for those who may not have one.” stated CASA’s United Way AmeriCorps VISTA, and new volunteer advocate Alexys Jones.
“I believe through advocating for these children, I will get to see the impact that can be made by standing up for them, and how the small trajectory change in their lives now, has a lasting impact later in life.”
As a sworn in advocate Jones and the other volunteers will work to speak up for the best interest of children in need of a voice in court. The advocates will do this by getting to know each child they advocate for on a personal level and through speaking with interested parties.
Once the advocate has a good understanding of what the child’s needs are, they will make an unbiased recommendation to the court in the child’s best interest.
CASA is always accepting applications from community members interested in becoming volunteer advocates. The next training sessions for new advocates will begin in September but individuals interested are encouraged to apply now due to the lengthy application process.
Those interested can learn more by visiting www.casabp.org, by emailing email@example.com, or by calling the CASA office at (423) 472-5800. CASA is funded under a grant contract with the State of Tennessee and the last training sessions were made possible in part due to the support of the VECustomers Share.
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