The hub of information for the Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program, our blog contains posts with announcements, news and events, articles, periodicals and additions or updates to our website.

This page contains published posts from the December 2011 archive sorted chronologically with the newest at the top.

Alan Abramowitz: New Letter and Video

Alan Abramowitz

On Monday, December 12, 2011, Alan Abramowitz sent a letter by way of the Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation discussing Governor Scott's budget recommendations for fiscal year 2012–2013.

He also recently filmed a segment of The Florida Channel's Point of View interview show wherein he discusses the program, its mission, his role and how people can help.

You can read the text of his letter and watch the video below.


Dear Guardian ad Litem Volunteers, staff and supporters,

The Governor's Budget Recommendations were published on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 and the Guardian ad Litem Program did not have any budget cuts. The Governor's Office has been very supportive and has kept me informed every step of the way. I appreciate this relationship.

We have a Legislative Budget Request of $3.9 million and I will continue to advocate for these funds with the Legislature. It is great news we were not cut. The Governor's Representative that presented the budget in Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee stated that if the dollars are found, the Governor supports it. This means a great deal to the children who our volunteers give a voice.

We need to continue to reach maximum capacity by recruiting more volunteers and retaining the ones that are already dedicated to children. This puts our Program in a better position to advocate for additional dollars. Today we are not at that capacity. We are moving in that direction and need to keep up that pace as we continue to make the business case for a fully funded program that ensures EVERY child has a volunteer child advocate.

The Governor has also recommended the evidence-based prevention program, Healthy Families, have $2 million dollars restored. Investment in prevention is important to our Program because there will be less children in foster care that need Guardian ad Litem's if parents were given the tools to give their children a healthy environment.

I want to make it clear that the Governor and the First Lady are friends of our Program. The Governor's Office offers us technical assistance and support as we continue to make our business case.

Thank you for your support and we will continue to provide more information as we go through the legislative session.

Feel free to call me if you want to discuss or share your comments.

Alan F. Abramowitz
Executive Director
Florida Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office
Main line: 850.922.7213
Personal cell: 850.241.3232

Alan Abramowitz on "Point of View" The Florida Channel 2011-11-02

New Events: Recruitment Coffees

We regularly host a variety of events to provide community outreach, raise awareness of our program, recruit new volunteers, fund raise and furnish training to our volunteer guardians ad litem. The following events have been recently added to our calendar.

Volunteer Recruitment Coffees
Have your questions answered, talk to current volunteers and learn about our program at our monthly Volunteer Recruitment Coffee. Members of our Volunteer Recruitment Committee will be on hand to discuss the rewards of becoming a guardian ad litem and guide you through the application process.

Ask a Mentor: Prioritizing the Child's Needs

Volunteer Question

I just finished my first visit to the two children in my case. I am just overwhelmed with the long list of needs which the caregiver identified and I don't know where to start. The list includes everything from clothes to diapers and a bed for the three-year-old. The caregiver also wants help getting Medicaid for the children. This is my first case and I'm not sure how to handle all of this.

Mentor Answer

The first thing you must do is remember that you are not a social worker or the dependency case manager (DCM)—your commitment is to advocate for the children. Working on these needs is primarily the responsibility of the DCM. Call the DCM and ask her about the things on the list and see what she is handling. If there is something the DCM says the agency just cannot provide but which you feel is important, talk with your volunteer supervisor about possibilities for finding a way to meet that need.

A part of your advocacy for children includes knowing their needs and knowing who is obligated to respond to the needs. Then you keep monitoring whether or not the needs are being met. Gradually as you become experienced, you will become more and more familiar with resources and how to make use of them when you believe there are needs—such as a tutor—that the guardian can help meet. You probably remember from your training that Child Advocates II, the nonprofit which supports our work with children in this circuit, is one such resource.

New Events: Alternative Christmas Markets

We regularly host a variety of events to provide community outreach, raise awareness of our program, recruit new volunteers, fund raise and furnish training to our volunteer guardians ad litem. The following events have been recently added to our calendar.

Guardian ad Litem at the Alternative Christmas Markets
The markets feature local and international charities and not-for-profit organizations who are on hand to educate the public and accept donations in the name of a family member, friend or colleague. Visit the markets to chat with our volunteers, have your questions answered and give the gift of a donation to our program.

We need volunteers that can answer questions about our program to work our table. Shifts will be one to two hours in duration. Notify the event contact if you can help!