Written by yvonne.marrone

Position Available with the Guardian ad Litem Program

This posting will be available through August 19th:

https://jobs.myflorida.com/job/TAMPA-GUARDIAN-AD-LITEM-OFFICE%2C-13TH-CIRCUIT-ADMINISTRATIVE-SPECIALIST-II-21014063-FL-33602/774419600/

This posting will be available through August 26th:

https://jobs.myflorida.com/job/TAMPA-GUARDIAN-AD-LITEM%2C-13TH-CIRCUIT-CHILD-ADVOCATE-MANAGER-OPS-21813006-FL-33602/733439400/

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Written by yvonne.marrone

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Community Impact Day

TB Times: Bucs honor local charities on Community Impact Day
Several Tampa Bay organizations were invited to training camp Friday to watch the team practice and receive school supplies from the Arians Family Foundation.
https://www.tampabay.com/sports/bucs/2021/08/06/bucs-honor-local-charities-on-community-impact-day/
In anticipation of a front-row seat for Bucs training camp, Madeline Robinson said a couple of the children she works with didn’t sleep Thursday night.
Robinson’s organization, Wheelchairs 4 Kids, was one of many invited to AdventHealth Training Center Friday for Buccaneers Community Impact Day. Groups from several local non-profits — Special Olympics Florida, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, Voices for Children of Tampa Bay and Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay — also got the chance to watch some of their favorite players practice in person.
Children with Wheelchairs 4 Kids held circular signs with players’ names and numbers printed on them. Their “favorite players” lists, of course, were headlined by quarterback Tom Brady, tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Mike Evans.
“They all have different ones (signs),” said Robinson, the organization’s executive director. “Of course, the ones that have Brady and Gronk, the other kids are a little jealous.”
Wheelchairs 4 Kids brought a group of 42 to camp, comprised of 15 children and select family members. Robinson said the organization has been invited to camp the past five or six years. But before Friday, (discounting 2020 when fans weren’t permitted), it could only bring about 10 people.
Wheelchairs 4 Kids has two main channels of service for children with physical disabilities: one for fun activities in the community and another for providing free home modifications, wheelchairs and other needed equipment to children and their families.
The Bucs have had Wheelchairs 4 Kids on their radar for several years now, and the organizations have an excellent relationship, Robinson said. She and the families involved with the nonprofit were excited to be invited back this year, especially coming off a Super Bowl-winning season.
“The Buccaneers, they’re always supporting us,” Robinson said. “When they got the (Lombardi) trophy last year, we had a private day with the trophy. That was kind of fun. They’ve been amazing.”
Guardian Haven Academy, an organization formed in 2018 that teaches life skills to individuals 22 years old and up with intellectual or developmental disabilities, also was invited.
“It’s very important to see the individuals with smiles on their faces,” co-founder Chris Humphries said. “We let them know a couple days ago that they would be attending, so a lot of smiles are put on their faces, and this morning was even more.”
As part of a more than decade-long tradition, athletes from Special Olympics Florida were invited to run drills with Bucs staff members after the morning session. Special Olympics Florida serves over 60,000 athletes across the state, and Hillsborough County has a nationally renowned adaptive sports program (which recently added wheelchair football to its repertoire).
Additionally, 200 people from Voices For Children of Tampa Bay and Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay were gifted backpacks and school supplies by head coach Bruce Arians’ Arians Family Foundation. Tuesday marks the first day of school for Hillsborough County public school students.
Arians called Community Impact Day “one of my favorite days.”
“Just to see the smile on their face and know they’ve got everything they need for school,” he said. “It’s been one of my favorite days for a long, long time.”

Written by yvonne.marrone

The GAL Hospital SWAT Team continues to meet the needs of abused children

The GAL Hospital SWAT Team is an elite team of fully-trained Guardian ad Litem volunteers, who specialize in
visiting hospitalized children sheltered due to physical abuse and neglect. This team is unique to the 13th Judicial Circuit and
provides comfort through visitation, supplies (blankets, clothing and other necessary supplies not provided by the hospital) and
documents clinical findings to advocate for these children in court.

For additional information, contact Katie McCarey, Master Guardian ad Litem, Email: katiemccarey@gmail.com

Written by yvonne.marrone

Guardian ad Litem SWAT Team continues to meet needs of vulnerable children.

The GAL Hospital SWAT Team is an elite team of fully-trained Guardian ad Litem volunteers, who specialize in
visiting hospitalized children sheltered due to physical abuse and neglect. This team is unique to the 13th Judicial Circuit and
provides comfort through visitation, supplies (blankets, clothing and other necessary supplies not provided by the hospital) and
documents clinical findings to advocate for these children in court.

For additional information, contact Katie McCarey, Master Guardian ad Litem, Email: katiemccarey@gmail.com

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Written by yvonne.marrone

Guardian ad Litem adds new Hospital SWAT Team for the care of hospitalized children.

The GAL Hospital SWAT Team is an elite team of fully-trained Guardian ad Litem volunteers, who specialize in
visiting hospitalized children sheltered due to physical abuse and neglect. This team is unique to the 13th Judicial Circuit and
provides comfort through visitation, supplies (blankets, clothing and other necessary supplies not provided by the hospital) and
documents clinical findings to advocate for these children in court.

For additional information, contact Katie McCarey, Master Guardian ad Litem, Email: katiemccarey@gmail.com

Written by yvonne.marrone

February 2021 Newsletter – Voices Chosen by Jane Seymour’s Open Hearts Foundation

We are happy to announce a few great initiatives with Voices for Children as well! Last year, they received a grant from the Open Hearts Foundation (ran by actress, Jane Seymour). They have chosen Voices for Children as 1 of 4 recipients nationwide to participate in an event where their volunteers would write an encouraging note to a child or caregiver in your case.  If your child or caregiver could use a little pick me up, please fill out the request form by clicking here. The deadline is March 10, so act quickly!

 

February 2021
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Written by yvonne.marrone

Voices for Children is one of the Top 200 finalists in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grant Program

September 2020

Voices for Children is one of the Top 200 finalists in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grant Programs and we are SO EXCITED! We were selected from 2,000 submissions BUT now we NEED YOUR HELP!

40 grants for $25,000 will be awarded on November 4th and YOUR VOTES will help decide which causes will win! The voting phase is open from 12:00:01 a.m. ET on September 23rd until October 2nd at 11:59:59 p.m. ET. People can vote EVERY DAY, up to 10 votes/day with just one click! Please help Voices for Children and the Guardian ad Litem Program secure these much needed funds. It’s a quick and EASY one time sign up. They will ask for your name, DOB (because you must be 18 years of age) and email in order to set up a password (they won’t use your info – we confirmed). After that, if you use the same de-vice, it’s just one click from there on out. Such a fun and easy way to make a big difference for our foster kids!! You can access our direct link and VOTE here:

https://www.neighborhoodassist.com/entry/2033901

All of the funds we receive will directly support the GAL Program in Hillsborough County, so we can continue to help YOU promote the education, health, and emotional well-being of the children you serve. Every child deserves the chance to feel like a kid and TOGETHER we can make the different in the life of a child! Thank you for your unwavering dedication to our children in need!

Written by yvonne.marrone

August Newsletter

August 2020

 

Advocating for your GAL child in the School System – Although you may not be able to make educational decisions for you GAL child, your communication and knowledge of their educational needs ensures their needs are not overlooked especially for our children who can move schools multiple times a year.

Written by yvonne.marrone

July 2020 Newsletter – Highlights

July 2020

Recruitment Corner:

Our program is doing something fun to show our united volunteers across the state. We invite you to join in! The goal is to have all 10,000+ volunteers and staff post something similar on their Facebook page to raise awareness on July 27th. Sometime on Monday July 27th, please consider posting the following:
“The best part about being a Guardian ad Litem is ___________________. #makeadifferencetochildren”.
Feel free to post what it is that you enjoy about being a Guardian ad Litem, or a selfie, a photo of your badge… etc. Please do not post any photos of the chil-dren on your case or any identifying information.

From our perspective, the best part of being a Guardian ad Litem is being able to work with all of you, and seeing your passion for child welfare. We are so much better together! If you’re interested in being part of one of the largest social media movements of the GAL Program, set a reminder to post on your social media on July 27th!
Recruitment Corner

Notes from Voices For Children:

VFC feels very fortunate that donations are still rolling in despite this difficult time!
We have received a very special donation of New Balance shoes from the Florida Division of the Salvation
Army, ranging in size 12 kids to a 5 adult.
We also continue to receive diapers from the Junior League Diaper Bank as well. If
your child is in need of a new pair of shoes or diapers, please contact Dayle at [email protected]
vfcgal.org or Jennifer at jstarr@vfcgal.org. We will be coordinating a distribution
plan that will be safe and easy for all involved.
As always, please feel free to continue submitting specific requests through your CAM.
VFC is here to support your very important efforts as a Guardian ad Litem Volunteer
and we appreciate your time and commitment.

 

Upcoming Training Opportunities:

Tuesday, 8/11 at Noon
Building Strong Relationships with Teens. Presented by the GAL Teen Team

Tuesday, 8/18 6-7pm
Volunteer Support Group. Learn about the GAL program updates and seek support from other Volunteers!

Thursday, 8/24 4-6pm
Beyond the Bruises– A presentation about how to create an Domestic Violence informed child welfare system.

Thursday, 9/10 at Noon
Trauma: How does it impact our children and how can we help?
Join Dr. Marlene Bloom as she discusses how trauma impacts our children and what we, as GALs, can do to advocate
more effectively. Dr. Bloom suggests reading “They Boy who was Raised as a Dog” by Bruce Perry prior to the
training. This book is available here if you would like to read it. Note that the book does discuss difficult topics. If
you are uncomfortable reading the book, you may still participate in the training.

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