NEWBERRY — On Sept. 13 two members of the Newberry County community were sworn in by the Honorable Joseph W. McGowan as volunteers in the Cass Elias McCarter Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Program.
These individuals join those who serve as a voice for abused and neglected children throughout the area. Those taking part in the ceremony include Debra Austin and Crystal Prince.
The newly appointed Guardians ad Litem join other volunteers who have been trained and advocate for foster children in the Family Court system. Using one-on-one advocacy, GAL volunteers ensure that children’s needs are recognized and their best interests are considered both in the courtroom and in the community.
Program volunteers get to know the children they represent as well as the people involved in their lives, including the staff at the GAL Program, foster parents, teachers and school counselors. They also attend court hearings and report their findings to the judge.
To become a volunteer with the Guardian ad Litem Program, you must be at least 21 years old, be able to pass background and reference checks, and successfully complete the free, 30-hour training. The next training session for Newberry County will start on Nov. 16.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a GAL volunteer contact Jane Doolittle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-768-8427. You can also get more information and download an application by visiting www.SCGAL.org.