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A Guardian ad Litem is a volunteer appointed by the judiciary system to advocate for a child embroiled in the Dependency court system. Most of these children have been removed from their homes because of alleged abuse, abandonment or neglect.
The volunteer "G.A.L." advocates for the child's best interest. While cases vary in complexity, most cases require approximately 10 to 15volunteer hours per month, with a little more time in the beginning.
In Palm Beach County, there are approximately 1700 children in the system at this time. Many of them come to the attention of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) due to:
The Guardian ad Litem program is a state-supported program consisting primarily of trained volunteers who give generously of their time to advocate for these vulnerable children in the dependency court system. Without a Guardian, the children themselves have no voice in the system regarding what will happen to them. Our volunteer Guardians do four main things:
As Investigators, Guardians:
As Advocates, Guardians:
For the reporting aspect of the role, Guardians:
For the Monitoring part of the role, Guardians:
No special legal skills or other background are needed - just good common sense and a desire to help abused and neglected children. Guardians are rewarded by knowing they've made a difference in each of the cases they've handled. Guardians make sure these children have a voice and a say in their future, and do whatever they can to make their lives better from this point forward.
Make a lasting difference in the life of a child: Become a Guardian!
Palm Beach County Courthouse, 205 North Dixie Hwy, Suite 5.1130, West Palm Beach, FL 33401, US
The mission of the Guardian ad Litem program is to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courts. We promote and support quality volunteer representation for children to provide each child a safe, permanent, nurturing home.
In the US each year, more than half a million abused and neglected children are in need of safe, permanent, nurturing homes. That's where Guardian ad Litem steps in. As trained advocates, Guardian ad Litem volunteers are appointed by Judges in the Juvenile Dependency System to be a voice for these children in court. The goal is for each child to be placed into a safe, loving home where he/she can thrive. It is the Guardian ad Litem program vision to provide a volunteer for each and every abused and neglected child who needs one. We are also known as the "CASA" (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program in some states across the US.
We'll work with your schedule.
Palm Beach County Courthouse205 North Dixie HwySuite 5.1130West Palm Beach, FL 33401
April 16, 2020