The Florida Guardian ad Litem Office represents abused, abandoned, and neglected children in the court and community. A Guardian ad Litem is a Trained & Certified Volunteer Child Advocate appointed by the court to represent and advocate for the best interest of each abused, neglected, or abandoned child in dependency court. As part of a multi-disciplinary team, Guardians ad Litem are the voice of the child.
To represent every child under the jurisdiction of Florida’s dependency courts.
Florida is the only state that uses a multi-disciplinary team approach.
This multidisciplinary team includes an attorney, a trained volunteer, and a certified child advocate manager, through the collaboration of our team we are able to provide quality legal representation for the best interests of abused, neglected, and abandoned children 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.
Volunteers become “the voice” for these children and make impactful recommendations that directly affect their future.
When a child is removed from their home, the judge stands in the parent’s shoes and has a duty to protect them. Guardian ad Litem representation is an integral part of the child’s protection. When a judge appoints the Florida Guardian ad Litem Office to an abused, neglected, or abandoned child, the child gets:
• The benefit of a MULTI-DISCIPLINARY TEAM that includes an attorney, a trained volunteer, and a child advocate manager certified by the Florida Board of Certification.
• REPRESENTATION of the child’s legal interests.
• SUPPORT from a trained volunteer who is often the only safe and stable adult throughout the child’s case.
• A link to the child’s COMMUNITY and support from the Guardian ad Litem public-private partnerships.
Please complete the volunteer form to learn more about how you can help change a child’s life.
Volunteers must be at least twenty-one (21) years old.
No, our volunteers come from all walks of life with different educational backgrounds and life experiences. You will receive specialized training that will prepare you to become a certified Guardian ad Litem volunteer.
Yes, all of our volunteers are subjected to a level 2 background check.
The children range in age from newborn to 18 years old.
Yes. You may choose your case by reviewing a selection of children who are waiting for their Guardian ad Litem volunteer.
The monthly average is 10-15 hours. It depends on what’s happening with your case as to how much time you will spend. You will visit your child monthly, report observations and attend court hearings. All other advocating and investigating depends on the situation of the case you’ve selected. Your Child Advocate Manager (CAM) will assist you.
You are not alone. We have a structured support system in place. Every case is worked as a team which consists of the GAL volunteer, Child Advocate Manager, and Best Interest Attorney. Working together, you share communications regarding the case. After you’ve completed our classroom training, you will be assigned a Child Advocate Manager, who will mentor and advise you on your case as needed. Your Best Interest Attorney will be available to consult when necessary and will handle all of the legal aspects of your case.