Since I stopped working full time I’ve been traveling a bit, I work out more often, I do freelance work, and I’ve continued to serve as a volunteer project leader through my local HandsOn group. While I enjoy HandsOn projects (sorting donations, packing food, etc.), I’ve been giving some thought to how I might better invest my skills and education as a volunteer. After some research I’ve decided to apply to the guardian ad litem program. GALs are appointed by the court to advocate for children who’ve been removed from their homes due to allegations of abuse, abandonment, and/or neglect. More than 9000 volunteer guardians currently serve more than 23,000 children here in Florida, so there’s clearly a need for more volunteers.
Their website suggests I won’t be left out there on my own. Extensive training and ongoing support is provided to GALs to help them advocate for these kids in the courtroom and with child welfare agencies.
It seems like a great opportunity to make a difference. As I begin my training I’ll be posting on my experiences with this program. If there are working GALs out there, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this program.