TAMPA, Fla -The foster care system touches every part of society. This year, as you celebrate freedom in your community, honor the American flag, watch the fireworks, and experience love and pride for our country, think about how you could show your patriotism. You can help, take action, and make a difference in a child’s life by joining the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office Child Advocacy Team. Although every child appointed to the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office is assigned a Guardian ad Litem Attorney and a child welfare professional, not every child has a volunteer on their team. This is where you can help.
Volunteering your time is an excellent way to celebrate the independence of our great nation. The definition of “patriotism” is the willingness to sacrifice for one’s country. If everyone sacrificed some time to help abused, abandoned, or neglected children in need, our local communities would have a positive impact. The Florida Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office is a great way to volunteer for children in foster care.
National research shows that children with a Guardian ad Litem are likelier to earn better grades, enroll in post-secondary education, receive more services while in foster care, and be less likely to re-enter foster care. Having a consistent, caring adult in their lives supports them in fulfilling their full potential.
The Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office represents Florida’s abused, abandoned, and neglected children in court and the community. Through the collaboration of a national best practice multi-disciplinary team that always includes a Guardian ad Litem Attorney, a child welfare professional and hopefully a trained volunteer or pro bono attorney from the child’s community if one is available, the team provides legal representation while assisting the child in expressing their needs and wishes. Our unique approach allows us to support the whole child, addressing their physical, educational, mental, emotional, social, and legal needs. In 2022, the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office represented over 36,000 children in Florida.