By Charlotte Underwood
JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – CASA of Campbell County has hired Chris Taylor as its new executive director. He started his first day on the job on Mon.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) is a non profit organization that recruits, trains and supports community volunteers who advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children in the community.
Taylor said it was this outreach of service to the community that drew him to apply for the position and that he had always had jobs in “service leadership positions.” He spent 20 years in church leadership ministry and has also worked as a probation officer, as well as a bereavement coordinator for hospice services.
Taylor has an undergraduate degree in physical education and sports medicine from Carson-Newman University and a Masters degree in healthcare administration with an emphasis in strategic management from Liberty University.
According to Taylor, CASA needs volunteers to help the program grow and help more children. “There are lots of ways to volunteer and get involved to help these kids,” Taylor said.
According to the CASA website, “CASA volunteers do their own investigation, get to know each child and write reports directly to the judge with recommendations for what’s in the child’s best interests.” CASA volunteers get cases moving through the child welfare system and advocate strongly to help ensure each child is in a secure, safe home.
The mission statement of CASA of Campbell County is to “advocate for abused and neglected children by providing them with a voice in court through highly trained volunteer advocates. These advocates ensure that each child receives the necessary medical, psychological and educational services.”
Advocates are appointed by Campbell County Juvenile Court Judge Amanda Sammons. They are “empowered to obtain detailed information related to a child’s case, to prepare a written report with recommendations for the judge and to speak for the child’s best interests in court.”
After operating for five years as part of a multi-county agency, CASA of Campbell County was established in January 2007 as a local, non-profit organization. It is a member of the National CASA Association and the Tennessee CASA Association.
The non profit advocated for 25 to 30 children in 2019, but more kids are out there needing advocates, according to Taylor. For information about volunteering, ask for advocate coordinator Angie Williams. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED -02/27/2020- 6AM)