Guardian ad Litem Seeks Volunteers To Serve As Child Advocates
July 12, 2017
More than 1,100 children are assigned to the 4th Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem program during any given month. We are working every day to ensure that each of those children has a voice in our court system – one that speaks only to the child’s best interests. This article from the Tallahassee Democrat perfectly expresses how new retirees can use their free time to volunteer in Duval, Nassau and Clay counties as a Guardian ad Litem and truly make a difference in the life of a child.
Retirement. It is a goal most look forward to, to a time when they no longer have to do what we must but can do what we want. Those achieving that goal find themselves with something new – free time.
A good way to fill this free time is to start a new adventure and get involved in your community. Throughout our community, there are hundreds of volunteer opportunities where retirees can make their time meaningful.
One of the best opportunities is volunteering with the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Program.
The GAL Program is a volunteer based organization that changes the lives of abused and neglected children by ensuring their interests are heard and served in the court and community. Through the volunteer’s advocacy, a child is able to find a safe and permanent home as soon as possible.
“Our volunteers make an impact daily through their advocacy,” said 2nd Judicial Circuit GAL Program Circuit Director Deborah Moore. “Retired volunteers are valued in our program as they bring a wealth of work, life and volunteer experience.”
Many retirees choose to join this program because they recognize the need and they can see the difference the program makes in the lives of these children and their families. Sometimes all it takes is that one person being there and caring to change the direction of a life.
Retirees, regardless of what career they may have had, can use their knowledge and life experience to help guide a child and family to a better future.
“What better use of my time then helping a child and family in need,” said retired educator Larry Carmichael. “It has revitalized me and is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had.”
The Guardian ad Litem adventure includes creating a relationship with a child and showing them someone cares, showing them there is someone they can trust and depend on. It is being there to advocate for them in courtroom, ensuring that they are heard. It is advocating for them in classroom and community, the same way many advocate for their own children.
This article was originally posted June 30, 2017 at the Tallahassee Democrat.