To the Editor:

Our Williamson County Juvenile Court Judge, Sharon Guffee, and our Juvenile Justice Team is compassionate about making positive changes and advancements in our Williamson County Juvenile Court system!

Judge Guffee has worked to add two additional Youth Service Officers (YSO) to the six that we already have, along with a Diversion Specialist to work with the first time offenders. She is working closely with Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson, for our future Williamson County Juvenile Justice Center, which will house our Juvenile Court room, staff, Youth Service Officers, Juvenile Detention Center and Alternative Learning Center.

With the help of CASA, Judge Guffee was able to help facilitate our therapy dog “Rockland” for our courtroom. This in itself shows what a huge heart the Williamson County Juvenile Justice Team has for our kids and families!

On March 12, at the Franklin Enrichment Center, Judge Guffee, co-hosted, the “Raise Hope & Foster Dreams” event with the Department of Children Services (DCS) and private providers, for our Williamson County foster families. Judge Guffee and DCS rallied to support and help equip our current foster parents in Williamson County so that we may keep our foster children close to resources and their families, and not placed in other counties. The event also promoted outreach for recruitment of new foster families for Williamson County.

Judge Guffee has used her own personal time to complete the Foster Parent “PATH” training and home study process to fully understand what foster parents go through to become a licensed foster parent, which in itself, takes an incredible amount of time and dedication! She participates in the PATH Panel for new foster parents completing the PATH training in Williamson County, which gives new foster parents a chance to ask questions not only to the Department of Children Services and experienced foster parents, but a Juvenile Judge!

Judge Guffee is an amazing individual, with a huge heart, that goes over and beyond to see that all our children are taken care of and that they receive the needed services available to them both through the juvenile and foster system. She welcomes and encourages families and foster families to participate in all court proceedings. Judge Guffee is firm, but caring and compassionate to all our youth. She praises their accomplishments and always encourages them while in the court or foster system. I have never met a more dedicated, caring or compassionate judge than Judge Guffee!

We need more Judges like Judge Guffee to make a positive difference in a child’s life. To show the children that they do have a voice and the support they need to change their lives around and become a productive adult. That they have the love and support of their family and/or foster family to overcome anything. Judge Guffee and the Williamson County Juvenile Justice Team are a positive addition to the Williamson County Community and we are lucky to have such an amazing team of individuals!

Julie Sutton

Williamson County Foster Parent

Franklin 37067