The hub of information for the Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program, our blog contains posts with announcements, news and events, articles, periodicals and additions or updates to our website.

This page contains published posts from the October 2014 archive sorted chronologically with the newest at the top.

New Continuing Education Event, Library Resource, RSVP Form

New Event

We regularly host, sponsor and support a variety of events that provide community outreach, increase awareness of our program, help recruit new volunteers, raise funds and furnish training to our volunteer guardians ad litem. The following event was recently added to our calendar.

Continuing Education

One new library item has been added to our comprehensive continuing education resource center.

  • Amazing Brain, The: Birth to Three
    An article on infant brain development from birth to thirty-six months of age written by Margie Wagner and Callie Little of Child Development Media.
filed under Early Childhood and Article

Online Registration

We have a new registration form that volunteers may use to RSVP for continuing education events being hosted at the Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program training room, located on the second floor of the Leon County Court Annex.

To use it, click the Register button at the top or bottom of the training event page, complete the brief form and then click the Register button. The training coordinator will be sure to place your name on the roster.

Register

If you have any questions about continuing education, email the training coordinator.

Update
2014-11-07: updated "Online Registration" text to provide additional detail

New Event, Fundraiser Update and New Educational Resource

New Event

We regularly host, sponsor and support a variety of events that provide community outreach, increase awareness of our program, help recruit new volunteers, raise funds and furnish training to our volunteer guardians ad litem. The following event was recently added to our calendar.

Fundraiser Reminder

The CAII Wine Tasting for Charity fundraiser in support of our program is on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. You can now purchase tickets and sponsorships for this event online. Visit gal2.org/wine to learn more and buy your tickets.

Continuing Education

One new library item has been added to our comprehensive continuing education resource center.

  • Florida's Quality Parenting Initiative Just In Time Training
    A large index of online training videos with slides and quizzes for guardians ad litem, foster parents, caregivers and staff curated by Florida's Center for Child Welfare.
filed under Early Childhood, Educational Advocacy, Families, Foster Care, Guardians ad Litem, Mental Health, Older Youth, Physical Health, Substance Abuse, Victimization of Children, Video and Website

Nominate Child Advocates II in the Clothes for a Cause Contest

Local screen printing and embroidering business Clothesline is running a contest and our non-profit partner Child Advocates II, Inc. needs your help to get nominated.

Write-in nominations are being accepted through Friday, October 31, 2014, so please consider nominating Child Advocates II today.

After taking nominations from the public, Clotheline will hold a vote in November to select a winning local charity. The winning organization will be announced in December and receive $500 of customized apparel from Clothesline.

Established in 1988, Child Advocates II, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit volunteer organization founded to support the Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program through fundraising and marketing activities, volunteer recruitment programs, membership drives and special events.

For more information on the contest, visit Clothesline on Facebook. Thank you for your support!

Clothes for a Cause Poster

Eight New Continuing Education Library Items Added

Eight new library items have been added to our continuing education resource center.

  • Child Abuse, Part 1: Understanding the Scope
  • Child Abuse, Part 2: Recognizing Victims
  • Child Abuse, Part 3: Recognizing Perpetrators
  • Child Abuse, Part 4: Reporting Requirement
  • filed under Victimization of Children and Website

Dates for December Pre-Service Training Changed

Original Photo Credit: Katrina B. --- purple snow suited girl (a young girl in a purple snow suit outside in the snow)
Photo: Katrina B.

The dates for our December classroom pre-service training for new volunteers have been changed. The classroom training is conducted over six days from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

  • December 2014
  • Monday, December 8
  • Wednesday, December 10
  • Thursday, December 11
  • Monday, December 15
  • Wednesday, December 17
  • Thursday, December 18

As a reminder, we are currently working to recruit and train forty-five new volunteers by the end of the year in order to meet our representation goals. Learn about our volunteer recruitment drive and call (850) 606-1213 with any questions.

Ten New Guardian ad Litem Volunteers Sworn In

On Wednesday, October 22, 2014, ten new volunteers consisting of graduates from our August, September and October training classes were sworn in as guardians ad litem at the Leon County Courthouse in downtown Tallahassee.

The ceremony was presided over by the Honorable Karen Gievers, a dependency court judge who typically officiates these occasions for us. Circuit Director Deborah Moore and Volunteer Trainer Christine Gornik were also on hand, the latter of whom took photographs.

After a welcome and introduction by Moore, Judge Gievers addressed the volunteers and briefly discussed the process from her perspective, highlighting the importance, value and essential nature of guardians ad litem.

After speaking, Judge Gievers had the volunteers form a semi-circle, raise their right hands and repeat the oath as administered. Afterward, she took a few minutes to meet each individual and pose for a photograph with them before moving on to her next judicial proceeding.

We are very proud of and thankful for all of our volunteers and the work that they do. Congratulations and welcome to our newest volunteer guardians ad litem!

To see our photographs from this event, view the Volunteers Sworn In 2014-10-22 set on Flickr.

New Community Supporter Welcomed

The Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program and Child Advocates II (CAII) work together to build partnerships with individuals, businesses and organizations in the Big Bend Region.

Without the assistance provided by our CAII Partners CAII Partner and community supporters, ensuring children have a court-appointed volunteer guardian ad litem, legal assistance and financial resources would be extremely difficult.

The following company was recently added to Community Supporters under Local Businesses.

American Safety Institute, Inc.

Logo: American Safety Institute, Inc.

We thank American Safety Institute and all of our partners and supporters for their generous contributions to children in our community.

Pro Bono Attorney Recruiter Hired By Statewide Program

On Friday, October 17, 2014, Florida Guardian ad Litem Program Executive Director Alan Abramowitz issued a press release announcing the hiring of a pro bono attorney recruiter.

This new position will help recruit attorneys statewide who will use their expertise to assist children involved in the dependency system.

The press release is reproduced below.

The Florida Guardian ad Litem Program
Announces Pro Bono Attorney Recruiter

by Alan Abramowitz

Friday, October 17, 2014
Press Release

Tallahassee, Florida — Alan Abramowitz, Executive Director of the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program, announced today that the program has hired its first pro bono attorney recruiter.

The Florida Guardian ad Litem Program has expanded its recruitment efforts to include pro bono attorneys. The program will use targeted recruitment efforts to recruit attorneys who will use their expertise to assist children involved in the dependency system with issues such as special education, probate, guardianship, appeals or immigration to work pro bono as part of the program team. Hilary Creary, a former circuit director in Broward County, will serve as the program's first pro bono attorney recruiter.

In 2014, the legislature passed House Bill 561 to have attorneys for children with special needs. The new law "encourages the expansion of pro bono representation for children" and it also requires that before a special needs child obtains an attorney funded through state dollars, the "court must request a recommendation from the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office for an attorney who is willing to represent a child without additional compensation." We have created a position to facilitate pro bono attorneys around the state through recruitment, training and coordinating with local offices.

Hilary Creary stated, "I am honored to have been chosen as the first pro bono recruiter for the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program. This new role allows me to advocate statewide for our most vulnerable children, by ensuring that each of them receives the best legal advocacy from attorneys who are willing to give of their time and talent."

"I am excited to be working with Hilary, recruiting and training pro bono attorneys to work with the program and the courts to improve the lives of our kids. Hilary's knowledge and skills make her the ideal candidate for this project," said Kelly Swartz, Director of Legal Services for the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program.

"Lawyers are an integral part of what the Guardian ad Litem Program does every day. With Hilary focused on recruiting pro bono attorneys for the program, we can strengthen the guardian ad litem team even more with a wide variety of legal expertise from across the state," said Alan Abramowitz, Executive Director of the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program.

To learn more about volunteering as a guardian ad litem, visit guardianadlitem.org or call (866) 341-1425.

New Continuing Education Events and Library Resources

Events

We regularly host, sponsor and support a variety of events that provide community outreach, increase awareness of our program, help recruit new volunteers, raise funds and furnish training to our volunteer guardians ad litem. The following events were recently added to our calendar.

Continuing Education Resources

Seven new library items have been added to our ever-growing continuing education resource center. In addition, we also created a Newsletter type and added one new and two existing library items to it.

New Events: Community Specials, Alternative Christmas Market

We regularly host, sponsor and support a variety of events that provide community outreach, increase awareness of our program, help recruit new volunteers, raise funds and furnish training to our volunteer guardians ad litem. The following events were recently added to our calendar.

In addition, we have also posted a new flyer for the CAII Wine Tasting for Charity targeted at potential event sponsors.