Friday, January 24, 2014

The Guardian Ad Litem program in Brevard County needs you!

Guest Article
By Amber Olesen


VIERA, Fla. – More than 30 percent of the abused and neglected children in the Brevard County Court System do not have a volunteer guardian in their corner. Now, more than ever, the Guardian Ad Litem program needs volunteers to serve as child advocates.


Registration is underway for volunteers who can advocate for abused or neglected children and help prevent them from suffering more harm. Our 30 hour training program, teaches regular folks with big hearts how to be a child advocate, and begins March 15th at the Moore Justice Center in Viera. Regardless of where you live in Brevard County, there is a child that could use a supporter in their corner. 


Guardian Ad Litem means "guardian for the case." Therefore, a Guardian Ad Litem is not a foster parent, legal guardian, or expected to provide a home for the child. The children are the victims and Guardian Ad Litem’s are the volunteers who find information, investigate, make recommendations and report based on the child’s interest. Our motto is, “I am for the child,” and we firmly believe their interest is our only interest. 


What is a Guardian Ad Litem?

Thousands of abused and neglected children become the subject of judicial proceedings each year in Florida. Their voices are often unheard, and best interests overlooked in the complicated and overburdened adversary 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 before the court, social service agencies and the community. He/she also protects the child during the family crisis, court proceedings, and follows the child’s progress after the court disposes of the case. 


Becoming a volunteer

You can champion an abused or neglected child and prevent them from suffering future harm. Please visit our website: http://www.brevardcounty.us/GuardianAdLitem/BecomeVolunteer or contact [email protected] for more information about our January training dates. We require participants to be 21 years of age, a checked criminal background history, references and an application, in addition training. 


Contact

To learn more about this volunteer opportunity, please contact:
Amber Olesen, Volunteer Recruiter
2825 Judge Fran Jamieson Way
Viera, FL 32940
GAL Program Office: (321) 690-6823
After Hours: (321) 680-7947