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Thursday, June 27, 2013
Children who have been in situations of abuse and neglect in the 23rd Judicial District now have more advocates.
Ten Roanoke Valley volunteers completed 30 hours of training this spring to become Court Appointed Special Advocates, representing children's interests in court proceedings when they become displaced because child abuse and neglect charges have been filed.
The judicial district now has 34 volunteers whom judges can assign in such cases.
"Last year, 92 abused children in the Roanoke Valley found safe, permanent homes with help of Children's Trust CASA volunteers, who are part of the only program of its kind in the valley and the 23rd Judicial District," said Janice Dinkins-Davidson, executive director of Children's Trust.
During the recent swearing in of the advocates, Juvenile and Domestic Court Judge Philip Trompeter said he "could not think of anything more noble, humble and selfless" than the work the volunteers will do to "help children whose lot in life is not fair."
The new advocates are Mike Agee, Anita Davis, Shawna Franklin, Donna Gilbert, Mike Hopkins, Lakeevia Sinkford, Angela Skirnski, Carla Terry, Lindsay Valentine and Tara Wickline.
CASA volunteers conduct investigations involving fact-finding interviews with the child and the child's family, social workers with the Department of Social Services, mental health service providers, school staff and other professionals involved in the child's case.
They prepare written reports for the judge and are regularly called to testify in court regarding their recommendations.
CASA is one of three programs of Children's Trust Roanoke Valley, which is committed to eliminating the trauma of child abuse through prevention and by providing continuous support for children through investigation and court proceedings.
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Army Sgt. Xavier Callaway, a 2007 William Fleming High School graduate, recently reported for duty at Fort Bragg, N.C. with the 82nd Airborne Division after serving in Afghanistan and at Fort Stewart, Ga.
Callaway also was deployed in Iraq in 2009.
He is the son of Michelle Callaway and Carl Tucker, both of Roanoke.
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Navy Seaman Stormy Martin recently reported for duty at Navy and Marine Intelligence Training Center, Virginia Beach.
Martin, a 2012 William Fleming High School graduate, joined the Navy Reserve in February. She is the daughter of David Martin of Roanoke.
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