Yadkin County residents become Guardians ad Litem

Staff report

March 17, 2013

Ten Yadkin County area residents answered the call this winter to advocate for abused and neglected children in foster care in Yadkin County, but there remain almost 20 children in cases now before the court who don’t have a guardian ad litem.

New Yadkin County advocates are Patricia Carroll, Sharon Crosby, Brenda Loudermilk, Micki Patton, Louella Sutphin, Kim Walker, Bill Wiley, Cara Winslow, Donna Cook, and Julia Broyhill. They join 7 long-time advocates working for local children.

These community members have been appointed by the courts to objectively look out for the children’s best interests while their families work through the legal system with the Department of Social Services.

“Unfortunately, the need for more advocates is great in Yadkin County,” said Cathy Davidson, the local program supervisor representing NC Courts District 23. “These new advocates represent both retirees and working folks with schedules flexible enough to allow them to come to court for the children every three months or so.

“The beauty of this volunteer opportunity is that it is relatively easy to fit truly significant work into your personal schedule,” Davidson continued. “The results can make all the difference in a Yadkin child’s life.”

Guardians ad Litem get to know the children, investigate their situation and options, and report to the court the children’s desires and best interests. They speak with parents, foster care givers, social workers, health-care providers, teachers, and others to be able to advocate for the child’s welfare. Their reports help the judge make an informed decision about the child’s future.

Anyone with the slightest flexibility in their daily schedules can easily volunteer as a GAL advocate, Davidson said. Thirty hours of training is required. Classes will be offered in Yadkinville beginning April 10.

For more information, call Cathy Davidson at 336-849-7409.