What is Voices For Children Foundation?
Voices For Children Foundation raises funds to support the 11th Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program. Additionally, Voices raises funds to meet the social, educational, and medical needs of Miami-Dade’s abused, abandoned, and neglected children.
What is the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Program?
The 11th Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program recruits, trains, supports, and supervises court-appointed adults to represent the best interests of Miami-Dade’s abused, abandoned, and neglected children in dependency court proceedings. Guardians ad Litem serve as the “voice” of abused, abandoned, or neglected children in juvenile court.
Begun as a grassroots organization in 1981, Miami-Dade’s Guardian ad Litem Program is the largest in Florida and is currently one of the most nationally respected GAL Programs, serving one of the largest urban populations of child abuse, abandonment, and neglect in the nation. It is part of a nationwide network of advocacy organizations under the umbrella of the National Court-Appointed Special Advocates Association (NCASAA).
Why Voices For Children?
Voices For Children exists to fill a big gap. The State of Florida requires that the interests of every abused, abandoned, and neglected child be represented by a GAL. However, the GAL Program does not receive adequate public funding. That’s where Voices helps.
How many children does the GAL Program represent?
Although the number fluctuates, in June 2010, there were approximately 2,600 children in Miami-Dade’s foster care system.
How can I get involved?
Everybody can Be A Voice by making a financial contribution, volunteering their time or becoming a Guardian ad Litem.
What do GALs do?
• Speak up for the best interests of the child
• Gather information through regular visits with the child
• Conduct interviews with people associated with the child, such as parents, caregivers and all social and medical service providers
• Attend hearings on the child’s behalf
• Make recommendations to the judge
Who can become a GAL?
• Possesses a strong desire to help children
• Demonstrates good judgment and common sense
• Exhibits good communication skills
• Provides favorable references and consents to a background check
• Completes 30 hours of training
• Is at least 19 years old
How can I Be A Voice?
If you would like to make a financial contribution, please contact Voices For Children at 305.324.5678.
To become a Guardian ad Litem volunteer, call 305.638.6861.