Southwest Georgia Children’s Alliance expands with new hires

Published 7:22 am Monday, May 8, 2017


AMERICUS — The Southwest Georgia Children’s Alliance recently hired three new team members that will enhance this vital non-profit’s mission to be the regional collaborative resource for children and families through nurturing, education, mentoring, advocacy, empowerment, and child-abuse prevention.
Each of these professionals will fulfill a vital role within the Southwest Georgia Children’s Alliance umbrella organization that includes Southwest Georgia Court Appointed Special Advocates (SOWEGA CASA), Lighthouse Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC), Truancy Program, and the first Judicial Circuit Children in Need of Services (CHINS) program created in the state of Georgia.
“Each of the Alliance’s programs provide a vital service for children affected by abuse, neglect, or violence, as well as children who are potentially at risk for these. Last year alone, we collaborated with local law enforcement, government, and other advocacy agencies to provide for the needs of over 600 children and families within our 12-county region, and we continue to provide for the growing number of children currently in our care,” said Maggie McGruther, CEO and executive director of the Southwest Georgia Children’s Alliance.
This substantial need within the Southwest Georgia region has led to the recent growth in the Alliance’s staff to enhance the organization’s ability to provide the necessary resources, advocacy, and education for these families.
The Southwest Georgia Children’s Alliance recently welcomed Karan Albritton as the program director of SOWEGA CASA to provide oversight for two Program Coordinators, numerous volunteers and the 12 counties that SOWEGA CASA serves. She brings a wealth of knowledge with a long professional history in social work as a retiree from the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) after 30 years of service.
Albritton is also well-acquainted with the Alliance’s mission, vision and programs. Prior to taking on the Program Director role, she was employed under the Alliance umbrella as a family advocate and forensic interviewer since November 2013, with the Lighthouse Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC).
The Lighthouse CAC, which seeks to provide a neutral, safe place for the evaluation of alleged child abuse, recently welcomed Nikki Still, LPN, and Shaquita Fanning to its growing team.
As the clinical coordinator for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program (SANE), Still assists with SANE exams, coordinates services, participates in case review meetings, and contributes to community education initiatives. She is also spearheading the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), which provides first responder care and evidence gathering services to sexual assault victims. Still has an experienced background in patient care as well as community supervision experience. She is currently working on her RN and will join the ranks of SANE as a certified examiner upon graduation.
Fanning recently joined the CAC team as a forensic interviewer/advocate, taking calls for the Center’s 24/7 facility, conducting forensic interviews, and participating in case reviews across the six-county judicial circuit. With a master’s degree in forensic psychology, she also has an extensive background in law enforcement, social services, and forensic interviewing through a child advocacy center.
“In everything that we do under the umbrella of Southwest Georgia Children’s Alliance, we seek to advocate for each child’s right to be heard. This is the driving motivation and goal behind everything within the organization, which is why we are excited to welcome these experienced new staff members who will help us continue to advance this mission and vision,” McGruther said.
Southwest Georgia Children’s Alliance relies on the support of more than 100 volunteers who are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the region’s most vulnerable children. To find out more about the services provided by this organization or for ways to contribute to its mission, please visit