On Friday, September 28, 2012, seven new volunteers were sworn in as guardians ad litem at the Leon County Courthouse in downtown Tallahassee. As guardians ad litem are regularly re-certified, two longtime volunteers and two circuit staff members also took part in the ceremony.
Joining Circuit Director Deborah Moore in welcoming the guardians ad litem and their guests were Assistant Circuit Director Leigh Merritt, current volunteers and members of the Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program staff.
The ceremony began with brief remarks from Deborah Moore who thanked and congratulated the volunteers. She introduced the members of her staff in attendance as well as the current volunteers who came to show their support or be sworn in again themselves. Moore also provided information on the program's current goals, progress, events and website.
Following Moore's remarks, the volunteers approached the bench, formed a semi-circle and introduced themselves to the circuit judge presiding over the swearing in ceremony, the Honorable Judge Karen Gievers.
Judge Gievers thanked the volunteers and briefly discussed the process from her perspective, highlighting the importance, value and essential nature of guardians ad litem. After meeting and speaking to the volunteers, Judge Gievers asked them to raise their right hands and repeat the oath as administered.Completing the ceremony, Judge Gievers congratulated the guardians ad litem and the courtroom broke into applause. Before moving on to her next judicial proceeding, Judge Gievers took a few minutes to shake the hand of each volunteer and take photographs with them.
We are very proud of and thankful for all of our volunteers and the work that they do. Congratulations to our newest and continuing volunteer guardians ad litem!