McDowell County District Court Judge Robert Martelle welcomed seven volunteers to the Juvenile Court System in North Carolina’s Judicial District 29A by administering the Guardian ad Litem oath during a ceremony at the McDowell County Courthouse.

Six volunteers took their oath on March 14 and a seventh volunteer took an oath on March 21. The GAL swearing-in ceremony was the culmination of six weeks of training completed by the volunteers. This is the first GAL class accepted by the court in 2019.

Members of the class are: Ashley Bradshaw, Darlene Cook, Angela Gunter, Kristina Metcalf, Cindy Shepard, Beth Toney and Zachary Wallace. The new GALs were appointed by the court to advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children in the juvenile court system. McDowell County GAL currently has 121 children in their caseload.

The McDowell County GAL program is part of the North Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program, a division of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts. The GAL Program recruits, trains and supervises volunteer advocates 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 and permanent home.

To learn more, call (828) 652-4632 or visit www.volunteerforgal.org. Our next training will begin the week of April 29, 2019.

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