Who We Are
The Guardian ad Litem Program serves as the exclusive advocate for children in the court system in Duval, Clay and Nassau Counties. Volunteer Guardians ad Litem are court-appointed special advocates whose job is to serve as the voice of the child — a voice that is separate from the child’s family members, foster care providers, attorneys or social workers.
Guardians ad Litem make a profound impact on the children they serve and the communities those children call home. Children with a Guardian ad Litem are:
- More likely to be adopted
- Half as likely to re-enter foster care
- Less likely to spend time in long-term foster care
- More likely to have a plan for permanency
- More likely to perform well in school
What We Do
Volunteer Guardians ad Litem complete comprehensive training to learn how to observe children, parents and foster families. Their recommendations are critical to a judge’s analysis and final ruling on the fate of a child. In 4 out of 5 cases, all or almost all of the recommendations made by a Guardian ad Litem are accepted by the court. We provide the necessary training and program coordination for our volunteers.
The Guardian ad Litem Program is supported by the Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Florida’s First Coast, Inc. The Foundation functions as a charity for children in the court systems of Jacksonville and surrounding areas. It has many functions:
- Raises awareness about abused, neglected and abandoned children
- Assists in recruiting and supporting the GAL Program and volunteers
- Provides funding to support training and retention of volunteers
- Provides support for staff and volunteers
- Provides necessities for children
APRIL IS CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH
April is Child Abuse Prevention. Let’s work together to stop the cycle of violence. At least one in seven children have experienced abuse or neglect in the past year. There are many reasons for a rise in cases of child abuse. Financial and emotional stress can be factors. If you see abuse or need help, please call (800) 96-ABUSE.
Also, if you’d like to be a voice for a child in the court system, become a Guardian ad Litem volunteer. We need you to help change a child’s story.
Help us build greater childhoods. Volunteer. Then take another step. During the month of April, plant pinwheels in your neighborhood or at work to raise awareness about child abuse.
Number of specialized training hours each volunteer undergoes
Number of certified and trained GAL volunteers on the First Coast of FL
Average number of children assigned to GAL at any given month
Cost to train each GAL volunteer as CASA in FL
How Can You Help?
We are always in need of a powerful voice for abused or neglected. Please consider volunteering with the Guardian ad Litem Program. We need of committed volunteers who are willing to be a voice of compassion and care on a child’s behalf.
A financial gift to the Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Florida’s First Coast, Inc. helps ensure a brighter future for the children in our court system. Your contribution will ensure that in every conversation about a child’s future, there is a clear voice that says, “I am for the child.”
Every child needs a hero. Abused, neglected and abandoned children need a Superhero! Click the button below to find out how you can help change a child’s life for a lifetime.