Guardian ad Litem Volunteer(s)
RSVP and The Volunteer Center
RSVP & the Volunteer Center has teamed up with the Guardian ad Litem Program to help them find volunteers.
- Guardian ad Litem literally translates to "guardian for the suit." Guardians ad litem (GALs) advocate for children involved in juvenile court cases. These volunteers come from all walks of life. Many are retirees. Some have been teachers, stay-at-home parents, nurses, lawyers, or social workers.
Judges appoint a GAL in all child abuse ,neglect, delinquency and truancy cases The GAL makes recommendations to the court and advocates for the child’s best interests in and out of court until the case is over.
- Meets with the child at least once a month
- Gathers and reviews information from parents, foster parents, and other people close to the child
- Communicates regularly with Vermont's Department for Children and Families (DCF) and the child’s lawyer
- Promotes cooperation between the parties
- Ensures that the court has all relevant information about the child
- Communicates to the Judge regarding compliance or non-compliance with the Judge’s orders affecting the child.
- GALs are required to attend three one day training sessions, typically scheduled on three consecutive Fridays. A fourth one day session is offered for training in Delinquency cases and may be attended after service begins. After successful completion of the required training sessions, the GAL is paired with one or more experienced GALs for mentoring and shadowing, which serves to introduce the new GAL to the various parties they will be dealing with. Shadowing also exposes the new GAL to the specific tasks they will be responsible for.
- GALs can expect to spend three to four hours per week on a case. Some guardians only handle one single case at a time, while others take on multiple cases. Because an individual case can last as long as two years from the initial court intervention to final, permanent reunification or placement, volunteers are asked to commit to stay with the program for a two year period in order to avoid unnecessary disruption in the child’s experience throughout the life of the court case.
- Because this program involves vulnerable children, candidates must undergo a background check and a probing, personal interview to assure suitability of volunteers serving these children.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer Guardian ad Litem or would like more information, please contact Maryesa at 802-775-8220 X103.
About RSVP and The Volunteer Center
6 Court Street, Rutland, VT 05701, US
RSVP and The Volunteer Center is committed to leading the effort to expand the use of service and volunteering as key solutions that respond to our communities' most pressing challenges. Our mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering.
RSVP & The Volunteer Center assists individuals in discovering interesing and meaningful volunteer options, providing initial and ongoing volunteer placement and support services through our staff of volunteer management professionals.