CHESTERFIELD — Two new guardians ad litem — court-appointed special advocates for abused and neglected children — have been sworn in to serve in Chesterfield County.
The Honorable Ronald R. Norton swore in Thomas and Belinda Hall of Chesterfield on Sept. 17.
Both are retired middle school teachers who joined the guardian ad litem program as a way to help children. They join other community members who have been trained and are advocating for foster children in the Family Court system. As officers of the court, they ensure that the children’s needs are recognized and best interests are considered both in the courtroom and in the community.
GAL 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.
There are no prerequisites for becoming a GAL volunteer other than being at least 21 years old, clearing an extensive background screening and successfully completing training.
Those interested in learning more about becoming a GAL volunteer are asked to contact Jennifer Burch at the Chesterfield County Office by phone at 843-623-5630 or by email at Jennifer.Burch@admin.sc.gov. Prospective volunteers can also get more information and download an application at www.Chesterfield.scgal.org.
The Chesterfield County guardian ad litem program is a member of the National CASA Association, a network of more than 900 GAL programs serving children in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
Information for this story was provided by the Chesterfield County guardian ad litem office.