Bieonka Manning Takes Oath As Guardian ad Litem

DILLON, June 8, 2023 – The Cass Elias McCarter Guardian ad Litem Program, a division of the South Carolina Department of Children’s Advocacy, is proud to announce the swearing-in of a new Guardian ad Litem (GAL) volunteer in Dillon County.

During the swearing-in ceremony, Bieonka Manning took an oath to provide a voice for abused and neglected children involved in family court legal proceedings through the Department of Social Services. The ceremony took place on Thursday, May 18th, at the Dillon County Family Court House and was presided over by the Honorable Cely Anne Brigman.
When asked why she wanted to be a GAL, Manning stated, “I want to be a voice for children who cannot speak for themselves either because of age or fear.”
Manning joins other dedicated Dillon County community members who have been trained and are advocating for foster children in the family court system.
The primary purpose of each GAL is to represent the best interests of the child during court proceedings.
This requires each GAL to visit the child monthly to learn about the child’s wishes. They must also assess the child’s immediate safety and conduct interviews with others involved in the child’s life, including caseworkers, teachers, foster parents, and family members. The GAL then reports this information to the family court judge at scheduled hearings, along with a recommendation on the best course of action for the child.
Volunteers should be at least 21 years old, have a clean criminal record, no previous DSS case history, and be able to contribute four to five hours a month of their time for a child. Free training is provided to all volunteers. The next training class begins July 25, 2023.
For more information on becoming a volunteer Guardian ad Litem, contact Erin Petrella at (864) 381-3725 or or visit

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