On Friday, January 6, 2012, the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office hosted a news conference for a statewide initiative to kick off a strategic campaign to recruit 10,000 child advocates for abused, abandoned, and neglected children.
You can download the press release or read the text below.
GUARDIAN AD LITEM PROGRAM STRATEGIC CAMPAIGN FOR 10,000 VOICES
Alan Abramowitz, Executive Director, calls for child advocate volunteers.
TAMPA, FL — The Statewide Guardian ad Litem Foundation will host a news conference for a statewide initiative to kick off a strategic campaign to recruit 10,000 child advocates for abused, abandoned, and neglected children. The Guardian ad Litem Program represents the best interests of children in court proceedings by enlisting dedicated volunteers to be an independent voice for those children who are alleged to have been abused or neglected. There are approximately 31,000 children in Florida's foster care system today. With nearly 8,000 volunteers, the Program is able to give a voice to 22,000 of those children. Who will be the voice for those 10,000 children?
To promote awareness and recruit volunteers, the Guardian ad Litem Foundation has secured funding to air a pair of public service announcements (PSAs) throughout Florida. These PSAs were created by National CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) to raise awareness for these vulnerable children. This recruitment campaign is titled "I am for the child" and captures the Program's mission. These children need someone to be their voice in court to stand up for them, to advocate on their behalf, and to be there for them. Our volunteers are role models, mentors, and the true heroes for these children. Although the law defines these volunteer child advocates as "Guardians ad Litem," to these children they are truly guardian angels.
Alan Abramowitz, Executive Director of the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office, will be in attendance, along with Mag McGauley and Jane Munroe from the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Foundation, Michael Piraino, CEO of National CASA, Senator Ronda Storms, Representative Rich Glorioso, Doug Sessions of the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, and other Tampa delegates who recognize the need and value of Guardian ad Litem volunteers.
Senator Storms stated, "Many children in our state are alone in the big, wide world—with no one on their side, no one looking out for them, no one to protect their best interests. Some fortunate children have guardians ad litem on their side, making decisions to protect them and look out for them—to truly transform a child's future. Please, please consider learning more about the Guardian ad Litem Program and the great things they do. Time, money and prayers—pick one or all three, but do something so that every precious child who needs a guardian ad litem will receive one."
As stated by Alan Abramowitz, "Our message is simple but profound...by becoming a volunteer child advocate, you will learn this reality: 'To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.' The 'I am for the child' Campaign allows us, in just 30 seconds, to reach out to those special adults who are inspired to make a difference in the life of a child as a Guardian ad Litem volunteer."
Representative Glorioso stated, "The public private partnership the Guardian ad Litem Program demonstrates emphasizes the relationship between businesses, non-profits, and our communities in protecting Florida's children and helping families. We continue to support these volunteer child advocates so one day, all children will have a voice."
Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families David Wilkins added his support to this initiative and stated, "DCF sent me the following quote for Secretary David Wilkins. "The challenge of providing all of Florida's children with the opportunity to dream of a better future is enormous. But it is truly the highest of moral callings and it requires the work of our Department, our community partners, businesses and volunteers. I have repeatedly seen first-hand the impact of a volunteer Guardian ad Litem on a child's life and the rewards are great for the child, the volunteer and our state's future. I encourage any Floridian who wishes to help a child to volunteer with the Guardian ad Litem program. The impact one person can have is incredible."
Tracy Scholes on behalf of Janice Caluda, Executive Vice President of The Florida Cable Telecommunications Association "is pleased to partner with the Guardian ad Litem Foundation and the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida to spread their very worthy message—that all of us are the community that cares for children. We are leveraging our cable networks to give the partners $80,000 of advertising time over the next three months. Look for the spots on a cable network near you and congratulations on what will be a very successful campaign."
Please join us and be a part of our campaign for 10,000 Voices!
Friday, January 6, 2012
Glazer Children's Museum
110 W. Gasparilla Plaza
Tampa, Florida 33602
The Guardian ad Litem Foundation acknowledges the partnership of the Florida Cable Telecommunications Association for their assistance in implementing this public service outreach throughout our state and its diverse media markets.
CONTACT: Alan Abramowitz, Executive Director
Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office