On behalf of Florida's most vulnerable children, I'm honored to have been appointed Executive Director of the Florida Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program. My experience in the law and in various systems of government, along with my passion for community service, has led me to this position, which I accept whole-heartedly.
I clearly remember the first two children I represented as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem, Gerald and Candice, back in 1986. They needed a voice - someone to speak for them in court. It was an awesome responsibility and challenge. But, my gifts of time and energy led to one of the most rewarding experiences I could have as an advocate and as a human being.
I see great challenges ahead: the huge number of Florida’s children who deserve a voice in court, budget shortfalls, and tremendous pressures to perform well under very stressful times in our economy. But, when I step back from the dizzying numbers on paper, and the daily business of running an organization, I see the faces of Florida’s abused and neglected children who are served by the volunteers of the Guardian ad Litem Program help every day. I also see the GAL volunteers and professionals across the state, whose dedication results in an awe-inspiring impact on the lives of our state's children. I am in awe of the resiliency of the children who, with the right combination of care and services, can enjoy a safe and positive future.
Today in Florida too many abused and neglected children will go to court with no one there to stand up for them - to be their voice. You can change that. You can accept my challenge to become a volunteer GAL and help make a difference in the life of a child. If you are already a GAL, you can make that extra effort to recruit another person to join you in that important role.
The reward? Not only can you make an immediate impact....ensuring a child has a voice and receives what they need while in foster care, you can pave a positive path to a child's future of hope and emotional security. After all, making a positive difference in the life of a child is one definition of legacy. With great challenge can come great reward.
Florida Guardian ad Litem Program
The Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program is supported by the Florida
Guardian ad Litem Foundation -- a non-profit organization. The time
and money contributed by Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation is essential to successfully meeting
the needs of the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program’s children
Watch volunteer guardians ad litem discuss what being a volunteer means to them.
Guardian ad Litem 2011 Annual Report
Guardian ad Litem Volunteer Brochure (English)
Folleto de Voluntario (Español)
Watch a Video of Dr. Phil Discussing Becoming a Guardian ad Litem Volunteer