Child advocate volunteers sought for Guardian ad Litem program

Last Updated: Thursday, February 01, 2018, 10:57 AM EST

Do you have a passion for helping children? The Guardian ad Litem program is currently seeking volunteers to be a voice for abused, neglected, or abandoned children whose cases are in the court system. 

  • Child advocate volunteers sought for Guardian ad Litem program
  • Volunteers advocate for the best interests of the children
  • For more information on the GAL program, click here

The GAL program is a state-and-county-funded volunteer-based organization that trains laypersons to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children. It exists throughout the nation and all 67 Florida counties. 

Volunteers work as part of a team and are assigned to a human service supervisor and attorney. They gather information needed to make sound, commonsense recommendations to the court. 

Although the child's safety is top priority, volunteers must consider the importance of familial connections, friendships, and the child's wishes and desires. 

Independent research has shown that children with a GAL volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care and reenter care. Children, who have exited the dependency system, often say that were it not for their GAL, they don't know how they would have made it through such a traumatic experience.

Currently there are more than 2,100 children in the Dependency Court System in the 5th Circuit which includes Marion, Lake, Hernando, Citrus and Sumter counties. Due to the lack of volunteers, not all of the children receive services.

A free volunteer training will be held March 8 - 10 in Weeki Wachee. For more info, click here