New Volunteer Documents, Website Updates

Original Photo Credit: Paul Goyette --- Untitled (boy and girl using a computer

We recently added four volunteer documents, two new website features and fixed several bugs.

Our resource page for current volunteers is the place to find guardian ad litem forms, documents, training materials, periodicals and more.

The following documents are now available there.

SB 1960 was passed unanimously by the House, the Senate and signed into law by Governor Rick Scott during the 2012 legislative session. Among other provisions, the bill created Florida Statute ยง 39.8296(2)(b)(7), permitting guardian ad litem volunteers to transport children represented by the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program.

The Transportation Guidelines document—effective as of June 1, 2012—clarifies who may transport children, the pre-qualification conditions that must be met by the volunteer and the process required to gain final authorization.

In collaboration with program staff, volunteers and youth in foster care, the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program developed and regularly updates the Standards of Operation document. The most recent update was published in early July 2012.

The standards exist "in order to ensure quality best interest advocacy for children while allowing individual circuit program offices the ability to be creative and innovative in order to expand representation and meet the needs of the children."

Following the normalcy training conference call on July 25, 2012, two new normalcy documents were made available to volunteers.

Normalcy Form 2 is an alternate version of the form designed to help guardians ad litem develop a written plan outlining the responsibilities and age appropriate activities for each youth ages 13–17 in foster care. The original version is now designated as Normalcy Form 1.

Normalcy Planning prepares a guardian ad litem for the process of a transitioning dependency case. After presenting a list of initial questions for the guardian ad litem to consider, the document breaks down their role in staffing meetings and hearings.

Two new website features were added to enhance our information resource and help spread the word, respectively. We also identified and eliminated several non-security related bugs.

Although our continuing education program features a different curriculum each fiscal year, materials from previous years are still excellent resources for volunteers. As such, the continuing education archive was created to house non-current continuing education documents for future reference.

Remember, the current continuing education curriculum is always available at https://gal2.org/ce and your hours can be submitted using our online form.

Share our blog posts via email or social network quickly and easily using the new Share This Article feature. Located beneath each article—in between the blue navigation box and the comments area—Share This Article currently supports email, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Tumblr and Twitter.

  • Bug Fixes

Five bug fixes were implemented correcting several non-critical issues. Should you ever find something not working as expected, please let us know.

We hope that you find the new resources and tools useful. Thank you for your support!

Icon: Comments Comments

  • David July

    One additional bug was recently discovered in our iCalendar feature.

    If you downloaded any events to your calendar using the iCalendar option in the past two weeks, the start and end times may be set to GMT instead of EDT. This results in the times being four hours off, for example 5:00 PM becomes 9:00 PM.

    This issue has been fixed, although any downloaded events affected by this bug will need to be updated in your calendar. We apologize for any inconvenience.