August 26, 2013
A local man is advocating for abused and neglected children. In this week's Stephanie's Heroes, CBS19's Stephanie Satchell is featuring Piedmont CASA volunteer Chuck Gross who's going the extra mile to ensure the safety of area children.
Chuck Gross has been volunteering with Piedmont CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocates for five years. The organization works closely with the local juvenile and domestic court to gather information to help a judge decide whether or not a child should stay in a home. Basically, he's the eyes and ears for the judge.
He spends about 15 hours a month meeting with teachers, school counselors and family to get an idea about whether a child is being neglected or abused at home and to what extent. He then submits his findings to the court and makes a recommendation to the judge.
He says it can be a challenging job, but it's a necessary job. His role is one that Piedmont CASA Director Alicia Lenaham says offers a sense of stability for these children.
"These are profound decisions and we have to be very cognizant of being objective and fair, but our bottom charge is to advocate for the child's best interest and that's what motivates us and drives us and guides us," said Chuck Gross, Volunteer, Piedmont CASA.
"For Chuck and his co-volunteer Paul, what they represent is a thread of continuity throughout this whole process of these kids and sometimes that is the most important gift we can give these boys and girls," said Alicia Lenaham, Director Piedmont CASA.
Gross is currently working with three kids. When he's not meeting with a child's family or teacher or preparing information to submit to court, he enjoys helping kids in other ways.
Piedmont CASA recently collected a bunch of backpacks. He delivered a few to the children to help them get ready for the new school year.
Piedmont CASA is looking for more volunteer advocates. If you're interested, they're having a class on September 14th.