Tampa, FL – Comedians/actors Tiffany Haddish and Eddie Murphy, athletes Demetrius Jackson and Simon Biles, rappers DMC and Ice T, and author/child advocate/motivational speaker Regina Louis. They are known for persevering to achieve great success, but many do not know what they persevered through early in life as foster children. During Black History Month, their resilience and accomplishments can provide even more inspiration and hope to children who may be enduring similar situations.
In Florida’s child welfare system, African American children account for over 30% of youth residing in out-of-home care, while African Americans only account for 16% of the overall state population. Less than 12% of certified Guardian ad Litem volunteers are African American in Hillsborough County. But regardless of race, age, or profession, these volunteers are the consistent adults who encourage foster children to follow their dreams.
A Guardian ad Litem child advocate can help a foster child better face adversities and change their future paths. A child with a volunteer in their corner will often do better in school, receive more needed services, and may even spend less time in the system before being reunified or adopted.
“It’s amazing to witness the changes in self-confidence that children can have when they know someone has their back,” says 13th Circuit Director Tabitha Lambert. “It can make overcoming obstacles and finding direction a little easier for them.”
In just a few hours a month, Guardians ad Litem help children in foster care know someone cares. You can learn more about what volunteer child advocates do and how they make a difference in a child’s life with a weekly Zoom Information Session or a short phone call.
For more information about the Guardian ad Litem program in Hillsborough, call 813-272-5110 or visit www.galtampa.org.