Too many children in the child welfare system lose their families, their rights, and their hope. Join our fight to make sure they don't!
Guardian ad Litem is a unique public-private partnership which trains and supports volunteer advocates (known as a Guardians ad Litem) to speak up for the best interests of abused and neglected children. A Guardian ad Litem is trained to work within the child welfare and family court systems and are appointed by judges to individual cases. With the help of a Guardian ad Litem volunteer, a child is half as likely to languish in foster care, and that much more likely to find a safe and permanent home.
We do our best to match volunteers with cases that fit their skills and interests. Do you like babies or little kids? One-third of our cases involve these most vulnerable children. Do you speak teenager? Then help us reach older youth! Do you have a background in the medical field? We need people with your experience to help untangle years of untreated symptoms. What about education? Help us ensure that each child has the tools s/he needs to become a successful adult. Use what you know--and love--to serve kids who so desperately need someone to fight for them.
This is one of few opportunities where a single, caring person can make a real difference in the life of a vulnerable child. Every child deserves the right to thrive, the right to be treated with dignity, and to live in a safe, loving home. Become a Guardian ad Litem volunteer to ensure that every child gets a fighting chance.
Guardians ad Litem devote, on average, 7-12 hours a month to their case. While much of their work can be scheduled at the Guardian's convenience (like meeting with the child or obtaining records), volunteers occasionally should be available to appear for court appearances. These court appearances are scheduled well in advance and usually occur on Monday or Tuesday afternoons.
In order to qualify as a Guardian ad Litem volunteer, applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have a background clear of felony charges, domestic violence convictions, or any history of child endangerment.
Guardians ad Litem complete 30 hours of pre-service training and are supported by a dedicated staff, including case coordinators and program lawyers.
Guardians ad Litem come from all walks of life but have a few things in common: good judgment, determination, an inquisitive mind, and a heart for children and youth in need. If that's you, we'd love to talk!
If you'd like to submit an online volunteer application, type this link in your browser:
About Guardian ad Litem Program of Seminole County - 18th Judicial Circuit
190 Eslinger Way, Juvenile Justice Center, Sanford, FL 32773, US
OUR MISSION: ADVOCATING FOR A CHILD'S BEST INTEREST Guardians ad Litem focus exclusively on the child. It is the mission of this program to recruit, train, support and supervise volunteers to advocate for the best interest of children who are alleged to be abused, neglected, or abandoned, and who are involved in court proceedings.
Thousands of abused and neglected children become the subject of judicial proceedings each year in Florida. Their voices are often unheard and the best interests overlooked in the complicated and overburdened adversarial process.
Guardians ad Litem are citizens who volunteer to become part of a court program to represent the best interests of an assigned child.
The volunteer Guardian ad Litem is a representative for the child with the court, social service agencies, and the community. He/She also protects the child during their family crisis and court proceedings.