According to the editorial, about 280 of the 665 children supervised by the court in St. Lucie County do not have a guardian ad litem.
"Rilya Wilson did not have a guardian ad litem representing her. Neither do more than 42 percent of the 665 children in St. Lucie County who are under court supervision. That's hundreds of children in difficult circumstances who don't have a guardian to give them a voice to tell the courts their feelings and their needs."
The board also spoke to Circuit Director Travis Erickson of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program as well as one of their volunteers.
Describing how the program helps, Erickson said, "if a guardian is present on the case, then the guardian actually goes to court, and … has an attorney with them. Those two folks actually speak to the best interest of the child. They speak toward everything that may begin with a child needing a new pair shoes and increases all the way up to if the child should return to their parents."
You can read the entire editorial and learn more about the Nineteenth Circuit's program.
- Editorial: Volunteers in guardian ad litem program needed in St. Lucie County
by TCPalm Editorial Board
- Guardians For New Futures
the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program's not-for-profit