On Thursday, May 1, 2014, the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program announced that Executive Director Alan Abramowitz was honored as recipient of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration on Children, Youth and Families Commissioner's Award.
This year's awards, honoring "individuals from across the country for exceptional contributions to the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect," were given to twenty-nine individuals following nominations by community leaders during National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.
The press release is presented below. Congratulations to Alan Abramowitz!
Alan Abramowitz Named as Recipient of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families National Commissioners Award
by Kelly Razzano
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Tallahassee, Fla. — Each year, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) Commissioner's Award honors one person from each state for their exceptional contribution to the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect.
The 2014 Commissioner's Award recipient for Florida is Alan Abramowitz, Executive Director of the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program. Mr. Abramowitz, a member of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet, leads over 9,000 volunteers in what is widely considered one of our state's most effective advocacy initiatives, reaching over 20,000 children with quality representation of their best interests in dependency courts.
Governor Scott said, "The leadership and passion of Alan and the rest of the GAL volunteers to be a voice for children is exceptional. I congratulate him on receiving this national award and look forward to working with him to improve outcomes for children in the dependency system."
"Volunteers are the heart and soul of the GAL Program," said Alan Abramowitz. "The difference a person can make in the life of a child happens every day around the State. Guardians ad Litem have a heartfelt commitment to make a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children by providing them a credible and conscientious voice in the dependency court system."
Over the past three years the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program has been recognized with the Angels in Adoption Award in 2012 by the Congressional Coalition On Adoption Institute, the 2012 Eagle Award Winner of the Prudential Davis Productivity Award, and the 2013 and 2014 Davis Productivity Award.
In his previous employment with the Florida Department of Children and Families, Mr. Abramowitz served as the State Director of the Child Welfare Office, Chief Legal Counsel for Central Florida and manager of various regional and statewide offices. His background also includes serving as Assistant General Counsel for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, an Assistant State's Attorney for the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, and an Assistant Public Defender for the Tenth Judicial Circuit. Alan has served as The Florida Bar Chair of the Rules of Juvenile Procedure. He has also served as chair of The Florida Bar Legal Needs of Children Committee and has appeared three times before the Florida Supreme Court advocating for rules impacting children in dependency court.
Mr. Abramowitz holds a Juris Doctor Degree from Florida State University, as well as a Master's Degree in public administration and sociology and a baccalaureate degree in psychology from Kansas State University where he played football for the Kansas State Wildcats. He has served with the U.S. Peace Corps (1990–92), the U.S. Army Reserves and the Florida Army National Guard. Alan and his wife, Jodi, have two children.
For information on the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program, visit www.GuardianadLitem.org.