New Hope
Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center

212 Cates Street
Maryville, Tennessee 37801
(865) 981-2000
(865) 981-5422 fax

New Hope

Our Staff
New Hope Staff

Tabitha Damron

Tabitha Damron, a native of Blount County, has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Maryville College and a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Tennessee. As the Executive Director of New Hope, she oversees operations and programs implemented at New Hope and works to ensure quality services and access for children in the community.

Tabitha also is a member of the Child Protective Investigative Team and provides consultation on cases reviewed by the team. Tabitha is also a member of Child Protective Investigative Management Team, working in collaboration with leaders from other Child Protective Agencies.

She has been working with sexually abused children for the past ten years and has received extensive training in the area of sexual abuse and trauma. Tabitha has provided individual counseling and has worked with parents on how to understand and cope with their child’s behaviors. Therapeutic models utilized for treatment include Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Play Therapy for use with younger children.

Contact Tabitha at Tabithad@blountkids.org.

Diane Darby

Diane Darby, LCSW, Clinical Director at New Hope, has been a member of the New Hope staff since August 2010.  She has been working in the field of sexual abuse for the past twenty years.  Diane provides individual counseling with children who have experienced physical or sexual abuse.  Caregivers also receive therapy services to increase their awareness and coping skills regarding their child’s behaviors or symptoms.  Therapeutic models utilized for treatment include Trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy and play therapy.

As Clinical Director of the Center, Diane provides all therapists at New Hope with supervision and peer consultation. Diane also strives to ensure strong connections to the community through school collaboration and awareness sharing.

Contact Diane at dianed@blountkids.org.

Christina Copland

Christina Copland received a BS Ed. from Ashland University in Ohio, a MS Ed. at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and her Paralegal Studies Certificate from Roosevelt University in Chicago IL.  Christina has worked with abused and neglected children since 1993 when she was a case manager/placement manager for medically fragile children at Maryville Academy’s Emergency Shelter in Chicago IL.  Christina left Maryville Academy in 1995 to become a mother and wife and reentered the field of abused and neglected children in 1998 as the first ever hired Forensic Interviewer at Child Network in Kankakee IL.  During her time in IL, Christina was a member of the original faculty of Finding Words Illinois that trained other professionals in Forensic Interviewing until leaving IL in 2007 to come to Blount County and continue interviewing children regarding allegations of abuse or neglect at New Hope.

When allegations of severe child abuse are received, the Forensic Interviewer is the first person of the Child Protection Investigation Team to talk with alleged victims regarding the details of the allegations that have been reported.  Christina has had been cross-trained in RATAC, NCA and the Childhood Trust Forensic Interviewing Protocols and she utilizes these methods to conduct developmentally appropriate, neutral, fact finding interviews with children in a child friendly setting that are legal defensible in a court of law.  Appointments for forensic interviews are accepted only from investigators/detectives assigned to a case after an official report of alleged abuse or neglect has been received by the Department of Children’s Services or law enforcement agency.

Contact Tina at Tinac@blountkids.org.

Raeann Bray

Raeann Bray is the Child and Family Advocate and Volunteer Coordinator at New Hope.  As the Child and Family Advocate, she works with the children and their non-offending families to connect them with resources and services in the community, offer support group, help with victim’s compensation, inform them of their rights and responsibilities in the investigation process, and sometimes just be an ear to listen. Beyond her advocate role, Raeann also is responsible for recruiting, training, and supervising the volunteer program.  Each year, the program grows with well over 150 volunteers sharing their time and talents on an annual basis.

If you want to learn more about becoming a volunteer, please contact Raeann at raeannb@blountkids.org.

Sandi Groover

Sandi could be noted as a “Jill of all Trades” with organization and multitasking abilities. Being a support person for others at the center, sometimes her duties are as simple as rocking a crying baby to sleep, supervising children in the playroom and making pots of mac’n’cheese for hungry kids.

The normal duties of an administrative assistant are combined with updating accurate information into several programs vital to the center. A national database, NCAtrak, follows the information concerning the child abuse victims and the alleged perps from the initial abuse, medical exam, investigation, counseling, and prosecution. Maintaining an accurate accounting of in-kind donations and mailing list information is very important for the public support of this much needed facility.

Sandi was named the Administrative Professional of the Year at the Maryville Chapter International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) 2008 Administrative Professionals Luncheon.

Contact Sandi at Sandig@blountkids.org.

Nicole Wicker

Nicole Wicker is a 2003 Maryville College graduate. She holds a bachelor of arts in American Sign Language and Deaf Studies. After graduation she worked as a Parents as Teachers educator and a Healthy Families Assessment Worker. Her passion is work with children/families and to educate the community to prevent abuse. As the Prevention Coordinator at New Hope,

Nicole strives to network with local oganizations and community members that could benefit from the Stewards of Children training program. The goal is to educate the community so that we can prevent abuse before it occurs.

Contact Nicole at nicolew@blountkids.org.