To assist attorney Guardians ad Litem in representing the best interests of abused, neglected, or abandoned children.
VOLUNTEER ADVOCATES FOR CHILDREN PROGRAM
We’d love to have you on our team. I’d like to thank you for your interest in helping abused and neglected children involved in the dependency system in Orange County, Florida.
In Orlando, the Legal Aid Society administers the Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) Program. While only attorneys can serve as a GAL, there are many in our community who are not attorneys but would still like to volunteer their time to help abused, neglected and abandoned children. For these individuals, we are pleased to offer our Volunteer Advocates for Children (VAC) Program. This program is designed to train, certify and supervise non-attorneys to serve as support to our pro bono GALs and Staff Attorneys, by visiting children and reporting on their placement, services needed, and well-being.
To qualify for our VAC program, you must be at least 19 years of age, be in good health and of moral character and be willing to commit to one year of service upon accepting a case. The time commitment that is required during that year is based on the amount of time you have available in conjunction with the GAL and/or child’s needs. It generally constitutes about 3 to 4 hours of work per month that you set up based on your schedule. The position requires you to visit with the child once per month and submit a written report of the child’s status.
You must complete volunteer application and consent to have your background checked, and then send it back to us by fax, mail or email. The link to the application is below. Check your download folder once you go to the link. Please make sure to include an accurate e-mail address for each of your three references, as we will be sending them a quick survey to complete. Once we receive your completed application, you will need to attend a mandatory 4 hour training to become certified. At the training, we will explain more about the background check process as well as the commitments that we ask from our VACs.
I have also attached this amazing news story on how one of our Volunteer Advocates for Children is helping our children in the dependency system.
If you or someone you know would like to make a difference in the lives of children as a lay volunteer with the GAL Program, please contact Kamia Taylor, VAC Program Coordinator, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t do it without you!
About Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association
100 E. Robinson St., Orlando, FL 32801, US
Mission The primary purpose of the Legal Aid Society is to provide quality legal services for the low-income residents, the working poor, children, and disadvantaged groups with special legal needs in Orange County, Florida, and to assist in providing legal aid services to similarly situated residents of neighboring counties though an effective and fiscally sound program through the combined efforts of staff and pro bono attorneys.
The Legal Aid Society was begun in the early 1960’s as a volunteer organization and created by attorneys who were members of the Orange County Bar Association. The volunteer attorneys agreed to take referrals in civil and criminal cases for local residents who could not afford an attorney. In 1967, the organization was formally incorporated in Florida as a not for profit under the name of Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, Inc. It hired its first director and full time staff and offered free civil legal services. Currently, Legal Aid employs about 45 staff including 18 attorneys and coordinates the contributions of time and money from over 3000 volunteers both attorneys and non-attorneys.
Legal Aid remains a local program with core support from volunteers whose dedication enables it to provide civil legal services primarily in Orange County. Legal Aid is especially proud of its Pro Bono Programs, and one of those programs, the Guardian ad Litem Program.
Advocacy & Human Rights
Children & Youth
Justice & Legal
We'll work with your schedule.
100 E. Robinson St.Orlando, FL32801
September 10, 2020
Verbal / Written Communication
Driver's License Needed
Must be at least 19
Orientation or Training
3-4 hours per month
Bring a friend. We love when our prospective volunteers share the experience with a friend.