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The mission of the Guardian Ad Litem Program is to advocate for the best interests of children who are alleged to be abused, neglected or abandoned, and who are involved in court proceedings.
The 7th Judicial Circuit Guardian Ad Litem Program consists of five offices in four counties (Volusia -- Daytona Beach and DeLand, Putnam -- Palatka, Flagler -- Bunnell, and St. Johns -- St. Augustine). The Guardian Ad Litem Program recruits and trains community volunteers who speak for abused and neglected children in court. Guardians investigate, monitor and report to the court the child's welfare and make recommendations as to the best interests of the children. Every year, more than one-half million children are abused and neglected in the United States. These children find themselves caught between the rock of an abusive situation at home and the hard place of an overburdened welfare system. As trained advocates, GAL volunteers are appointed by judges to be the voice for these children in court, to recommend what is best for the children. It is the GAL vision to provide a volunteer for every abused and neglected child who needs one - to be a powerful voice in a child's life.
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