On October 10, the Hon. William R. “Trey” Anderson III swore in two volunteers as SETHRA-CASA Volunteers—court appointed special advocates for abused and neglected children.
The newly appointed SETHRA-CASA volunteers are dedicated community members who have been trained and will advocate for foster children in the county’s juvenile dependency court system. AS officers of the court, they ensure that the children’s needs are recognized and best interest are considered both in the courtroom and in the community.
SETHRA-CASA volunteers are asked to meet with the child regularly and are authorized to interview people in the child’s life such as social workers, attorneys and teachers. They attend court hearings with the child and report their findings to the judge.
“Our volunteers pledge to stay with each child until the case is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home,” said Margaret-Ann Clemmer, SETHRA-CASA program manager. “The advocate is often the only consistent adult presence in the child’s life.”
SETHRA-CASA serves Bledsoe, Grundy, Marion, and Sequatchie counties. With the number of children in these communities waiting for a SETHRA-CASA volunteer, many more advocates are still needed. There are no prerequisites for becoming an advocate other than being at least 21 years of age, clearing an extensive background screening and successfully completing 30 hours of training.