Guilford County District Court Judge Marcus Shields welcomed 20 community volunteers to the Juvenile Court System in Guilford County’s North Carolina Judicial District 18 by administering the Guardian ad Litem oath during a ceremony Nov. 21 at the Greensboro Courthouse.
The GAL swearing-in ceremony was the culmination of five weeks of training completed by the volunteers and is the fifth GAL class accepted by the court in 2018.
Members of the GAL class are: Mollie Aleshire, Abigail Blatt, Bob Christina, Julie Davis, Katrina Fuller, Katherine Goldston, Lisa Hochrein, Cookie Landveld, Madelyn Peterson, Fanta Sano, Pamela Turner and Tracie VanBuren, all of Greensboro; Stacey Parrish of High Point; Connie Young of Jamestown; Jim Kinneman of Oak Ridge; Julie Blount, Kari Blount, Meredith Carson and Mia Malesovas, all of Summerfield; and Bertina Johnson of Whitsett.
The new GALs were appointed by the court to advocate for the best interests of 35 abused and neglected children in the juvenile court system. “I am honored to welcome you all into this position,” Shields told the volunteers. “This can be challenging work, but the children need you to serve as their voice in this courtroom and I need the information you gather when making decisions in this courtroom,” he added.
The program is part of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts and recruits, trains and supervises volunteer advocates in every county across the state to represent and promote the best interests of abused, neglected and dependent children in the state court system. Volunteer advocates work with an attorney to form a plan that ensures these children are placed in a safe, permanent home.
For information, call 336-412-7580 or visit www.volunteerforGAL.org.