For the past 29 years, Wilson County Court Appointed Special Advocates has recruited and trained volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children.
Annually, an award is given to one exceptional volunteer advocate – one who goes above and beyond, one who challenges and pushes the envelope.
Ann Marie Nordgren, of Lebanon, was named CASA Advocate of the Year for her dedication to the program and to the children who come to the attention of CASA through the court system.
Nordgren has been a volunteer advocate for more than two years, and during this time has advocated for 13 children and donated 472 hours of her time, and countless miles, to the organization. Nordgren also serves as a peer coordinator or as a mentor to other new advocates.
“Wilson County CASA depends on volunteers like Ann Marie to fulfill the role of a court advocate for children who are navigating the court system as a result of being abused or neglected,” said Cathey Sweeney, executive director for Wilson County CASA.
Children come to the attention of the Department of Children’s Services as a result of reported abuse or neglect, then are routed through the court system where a CASA volunteer may then be assigned to advocate for the child. Volunteer advocates remain on the child’s case for the duration they are before the court.
Wilson County CASA currently has 60 volunteers, but more are needed. Contact the CASA office at 615-443-2002 or visit wilsoncountycasa.org to find out how to become involved or to make a financial contribution. The next training session is scheduled to begin in June.