For Immediate Release - November 12, 2013

Suffolk County Probate & Family Court Swears In Eight Probation Employees

(Boston)- Eight Suffolk County Probate & Family Court Probation employees were sworn in before an audience of family, friends, and colleagues during a ceremony at the Edward Brooke Courthouse in Boston. This swearing-in ceremony for Suffolk Probate & Family Court employees is the first held in more than a decade.

First Justice Joan Armstrong presided over the ceremony and Suffolk Probate & Family Chief Probation Officer Marguerite Riley hosted the official yet festive event where the employees read an oath and received plaques.

Five of the employees are newly-appointed Probation Officers. They include Shawn Haywood, Damen Kelton, Susan Young, Scott Goldberg, and Carlos Amado. Marie Ellen Cook, a 19-year Probation Officer, and Valerie Taylor, a six-year Probation Officer, were sworn in for the first time. Assistant Chief Probation Officer Patrice O’Brien, who worked as a Suffolk Probate & Family Court Probation Officer since 1998, was also sworn in.

“This is an exciting and proud day. These Probation Officers have a bright, bright future and will have a huge impact on children and families in Suffolk County,” said Chief Riley.

“I am extremely pleased to have sworn in the new staff at Suffolk Probate & Family Court. Probate & Family Court Probation Officers play a very important role in the lives of families. Our staff is very committed. The veteran staff, in particular, is to be commended for their impactful and dedicated work at a time where there were fewer employees,” said Judge Armstrong.

Probation Commissioner Edward Dolan said of the newly-appointed and veteran employees, “An Assistant Chief Probation Officer and Probation Officers, newly-appointed and veteran, are an important part of our agency. They bring to their positions the excitement, creativity, and expertise to work with families and children during a crucial time in their lives.”

Probate & Family Court Probation Officers work with families to resolve matters involving child custody, divorce, separation and guardianship cases. Probate & Family Probation Officers have also taken on a new charge to get fathers more actively involved with their children's lives which national studies show leads to a reduction in family conflict and a decrease in recidivism or committing new crimes.

Over the past year, Probate and Family Court Probation Officers through the Dispute Intervention process have helped litigants reach a resolution in more than 60 percent of contested cases involving child custody, divorce, separation, and guardianship issues.

Suffolk County Probate & Family Court Judge Joan Armstrong and newly sworn-in Probation Officers. Left to right are Judge Armstrong and Probation Officers Damen Kelton, Carlos Amado, Susan Young, Marie Cook, Shawn Haywood, Valerie Taylor, and Probation Commissioner Edward J. Dolan.
Suffolk County Probate & Family Court Judge Joan Armstrong and newly sworn-in Probation Officers. Left to right are Judge Armstrong and Probation Officers Damen Kelton, Carlos Amado, Susan Young, Marie Cook, Shawn Haywood, Valerie Taylor, and Probation Commissioner Edward J. Dolan.