The Guardian ad Litem Program serves as the exclusive advocate for abused, neglected and abandoned children in Duval, Clay and Nassau Counties. Volunteer Guardians ad Litem (GAL) 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.
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.
The Guardian ad Litem Foundation (GALF) provides the necessary training and program coordination for our volunteers to perform their duties on behalf of the child.
The Foundation functions as a charity for children in the court systems of Jacksonville and surrounding areas. It has many functions:
The mission of Florida’s 4th Judicial Circuit’s Guardian ad Litem Program is to recruit, train, support and supervise volunteers, also known as court appointed special advocates, or Guardians ad Litem (GAL). These advocates are trained and equipped to speak for the best interests of children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected in our community. Each GAL is appointed to a child in need. They become familiar with the child and the child’s case so they can make recommendations to the court that help ensure a safe, caring, stable and permanent home environment.
There are more than 1,300 children assigned to the program on the First Coast. There are 565 certified case assigned volunteers. That means more than half the children that need a GAL advocate have NOT been assigned one. Together, we can ensure that 100% of these children get the help they deserve. Let’s give them each a voice and help Change a Child’s Story.
We need you! Attend our Volunteer Information Sessions and learn how you can help. Our recruiters hold sessions twice a month. They will answer the most frequently asked questions about volunteering such as time commitment and case load.
Get involved today! Register here.
We are always in need of a powerful voice for abused or neglected children. Please consider volunteering with the Guardian ad Litem Program. We need 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 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.
Tax deductible donations to the Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Florida’s First Coast help us serve children in crisis. Click the button below to show your support.