Tampa, FL – “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” — Audrey Hepburn
Having been in our challenging new world for several months, many are now seeing the needs of others with new eyes and trying to take care of themselves as well. Volunteering as a Guardian ad Litem for children in foster care can help them and you.
Children in the dependency system need a consistent adult in their life to help reassure and represent their best interests in court. A Guardian ad Litem can help change a child’s story. Studies show a foster child with a Guardian ad Litem gets better grades, receives more services, has fewer foster home placements, and is more likely to be adopted. They feel more secure and develop higher self-esteem because someone cares about them and their needs.
But volunteering helps individuals, too. A study by Mayo Clinic Health Systems indicated volunteers for many causes saw these health benefits:
- Decreased risk of depression through social interaction and a support system based on common interests
- Reduced stress through a sense of purpose and appreciation
- Improved physical and mental health through movement and problem solving
Guardian ad Litem volunteers are from a variety of backgrounds and careers, and share an average of 10-15 hours per month of their time. Training to be a volunteer advocate is provided.
How do some children say their Guardian makes their life better? “You help me find places to live where people are nice to me.” “You listen to me.” “You check on me – if my grades are good and I am going to school.” “You make me laugh.” “You like donut holes, too.”
Information sessions about the Guardian ad Litem program and what volunteers do are currently being held via phone. Learn more at www.galtampa.org or contact 813-272-5110.
# # #