TOP PHOTO: CASA of Campbell County had four advocates sworn in on Wednesday morning by Judge Amanda Sammons. CASA advocates include, left to right, CASA Director Jan Jones, Grant Daugherty, Gail Holomon, and Cynthia McCracken.
By Charlotte Underwood
JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – CASA of Campbell County (Court Appointed Special Advocates) had four court advocates sworn in by General Sessions Judge Amanda Sammons on Wednesday morning. This is the first swearing in of advocates since Jan Jones took over as CASA director about a year ago. Jones was among those sworn in. Grant Daugherty, Gail Holomon, and Cynthia McCracken were sworn in as well.
These court appointed advocates will then be assigned to children who are going through the court system for various reasons such as child abuse and/or neglect cases. An advocate gets assigned to a child and follows the case from beginning till the case closes, according to Jones, who said she couldn’t stress how important it is for children to have an advocate as they go through court processes.
“Court can be a scary place for kids. Every child deserves to have a voice in court; these advocates make that possible. Everything they do is for the kids who need that security,” Jones said.
Judge Sammons welcomed advocates and told them how important their job is.
“You advocate in the best interest of the child. A lot of the time, in court, there are competing interests and the court system needs your separate set of eyes and ears to help make decisions on what’s best for the child,” Sammons said.
According to Jones, now that advocates are trained and sworn in, they are “empowered to obtain detailed information related to a child’s case, trained to prepare a written report with recommendations for the judge and to speak for the child’s best interest.”
CASA of Campbell County is a 501(c)(3) and was established in January of 2007. For the five years prior to that, it operated as part of a multi-county agency. The mission of CASA is “to advocate for abused and neglected children by providing them with a voice through trained volunteer advocates. These advocates ensure that each child receives the necessary services they need to be safe, cared for and protected.”
For more information about CASA of Campbell County, or volunteering to become an advocate, call 423.562.2700. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/10/2022-6AM)