Guardians

GAL Volunteer Advocates

What is a Guardian ad Litem VOLUNTEER ADVOCATE?

Guardian ad Litem volunteer advocates are everyday citizens trained by the Guardian ad Litem Program and certified by the court to represent the best interests of abused, neglected, and abandoned children. Once volunteers complete 30 hours of training, they are certified by the court and paired with a GAL Attorney and Case Supervisor to represent children until a safe and permanent home can be achieved.

The role of the volunteer advocate:

• MONITOR the progress of the case until a safe permanent home is achieved
• VISIT the child at least once a month to be sure he/she is safe
• ASSESS the service needs and opinions of the child
• COLLECT information from key people in the child’s life, e.g., extended
        family, caregivers, teachers, etc. to help guide recommendations
• MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS to the court and case management providers
        regarding the best interests of the child

Who can volunteer?   Anyone who cares about the well-being of children and meets the following criteria:

• Florida Resident
• At least 21-year-old with common sense and good judgment
• Provide favorable references and consent to a background check.
• Has computer access and basic user skills
• Complete the screening and training process

Time Required?    Requires 8-10 volunteer hours monthly for one year.  Volunteers usually can schedule the monthly visit to the child, phone calls and emails to key individuals according to the individual volunteer’s work and leisure schedule.  Only participation in court hearings must occur according to a schedule determined by the court.

What are the rewards?

• Knowing you are making a significant difference in a child’s life.
• Contributing to the health and stability of your community.
• Meeting new people with similar interests and values.
• Gaining valuable experience and building skills.

ATTEND AN ORIENTATION TO LEARN MORE DETAILS ABOUT HOW YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THE WELFARE OF OUR REGION’S MOST VULNERABLE CHILDREN!



TESTIMONIALS

My kids' caretaker (their grandmother) and I want to thank you so much for the generous gift certificates you've given her for her grandkids clothes. They came to her home with little more than the clothes on their backs and she was headed today to get them clothes to surprise them when they get home from school! You are wonderful!!!!!!

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