Director's Column: February 2014

Our program holds quarterly swearing in ceremonies at the Leon County Courthouse for our newly certified volunteers. The audience is often filled with guardian ad litem peer mentors in support of their guardian ad litem mentees and new volunteers often invite their family and friends.

The Honorable Karen Gievers, Honorable Martin Fitzpatrick or Honorable George Reynolds administers the guardian ad litem oath to our new volunteers. The ceremony is an important time to reinforce the serious responsibility our volunteers have to the child they support in our program.

During the most recent ceremony, I listened to our new volunteers recite the guardian ad litem oath, repeating each word after it was read aloud by Judge Fitzpatrick.

"I, [name], do solemnly affirm that I will faithfully execute the duties of a guardian ad litem and do everything in my power to protect and defend the best interests of the children to whom I am appointed."

I silently repeated each word along with our volunteers, reminding myself of the promise to be there every step of the way for the children in the program. The last sentence ended the ceremony with a meaningful and lasting statement.

I am the child's voice and will faithfully represent their best interests at all times.
I am for the child.
Original Photo Credit: gal2.org/Christine Gornik --- Volunteer guardian ad litem swearing in ceremony at the Leon County Courthouse in Tallahassee, Florida on January 22, 2014

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