Florida Guardian Ad Litem Program - 9th Judicial Circuit
- Advocacy & Human Rights
- Children & Youth
- Justice & Legal
LocationOsceola County Courthouse3 Courthouse Square, Ste. 100Kissimmee, FL 34741 United States
The mission of the Guardian Ad Litem Program is to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the dependency court system. We promote and support quality volunteer representation for children to provide each child a safe, permanent, nurturing home.
Guardians Ad Litem (GALS) are appointed by the judge to be the advocate for each child. These children usually are placed in foster care or sometimes, with a relative or friend of the family. GALs are asked to make recommendations in the child/ren’s best interest and to ensure that the child/ren’s voice(s) is/ are heard in court.
It takes about 5-7 hours a month of your time, and we ask for a one year’s commitment or the length of the case to follow a child (ren) through the dependency process. You must also be 21 years of age and pass a thorough background screening including a DCF check as well as a level 2 FBI background screening with fingerprinting.
Being a GAL ensures that these children who have done no wrong get the medical, educational, and supportive help they need to lead lives as "normal kids". Sometimes this is just making sure they get glasses for reading, tutoring help to pass the FCAT or the money to go on a school field trip, or to buy a prom dress or just to play Little League baseball, as well as making sure that if they go back to their parents, it will be in a safe and secure home.
Being a Guardian Ad Litem is a wonderful way to make a real difference in the life of a child.