The Guardian ad Litem Foundation raises funds and administers programs to benefit children assigned to the GAL Program in the 20th Judicial Circuit. We are committed to continually seek funds as it is core to our mission through all methods of fundraising within our abilities. You are invited to make a donation to the Foundation in support of the children we serve.
GUARDIAN AD LITEM SUPPORT PROGRAM
Volunteer Child Advocates are trained and court-certified to represent children who have been removed from their homes and are under the jurisdiction of the state. The child’s advocate serves as the eyes, ears and voice on behalf of the child in courts, school, the child welfare system, their temporary living situation, and in the community.
Throughout the life of the case, the Volunteer Advocate monitors the care and needs of the child, advocates for services, and makes recommendations to the judge on what is best for the child until a permanent solution is achieved. This usually happens through reunification with the family, permanent guardianship, or adoption.
FUNDS FOR THE SUPPORT PROGRAM
In order to achieve a higher representation and serve more children in crisis, we must increase resources through consistent fundraising. Funds raised for this program are utilized to recruit adequate numbers of new volunteers; provide pre-service and advanced training; provide ongoing support of the volunteer’s functions; and conduct volunteer appreciation/retention activities to minimize attrition.
CHILDREN’S NEEDS PROGRAM
Our Children’s Needs Program exists to help our kids fit in with their peers and feel “normal” during their time in the system. Child Advocates often identify specific needs the children have that caregivers cannot afford, and other agencies do not provide.
Once a child is removed from their home, the future becomes uncertain and stability is a challenge. This creates a great deal of stress on the child. It is important to strive for a sense of safety and normalcy to reduce anxiety and build confidence. Volunteer Advocates are trained to recognize signs of stress, ask the child for feedback and seek appropriate supportive measures.
Volunteer Child Advocates determine needs and submit requests to the GAL Foundation for fulfillment. Requests are reviewed against policy guidelines and filled accordingly through the Volunteer Advocate back to the child.
Fulfilling requested needs helps establish a sense of normalcy and places the child firmly on the path to overcoming their circumstances and becoming a better citizen. The types of normalcy needs vary tremendously and are very specific to each case.
FUNDS FOR CHILDREN’S NEEDS PROGRAM
Funds for the Children’s Needs Fund program are sought and provided primarily through grants, donations and our annual fundraising events. Funds are requested in support of this program in order to fulfill requests for normalcy aid and to meet the associated administrative, general and fundraising costs.