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.

Help Wanted: Guardian ad Litem Volunteer Recruitment Drive

Become A Guardian ad Litem Volunteer -- Learn How You Can Help gal2.org (850) 616-1200

The Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program exists to provide support and representation to abused, abandoned and neglected children in the dependency system.

When you volunteer your time, skills, empathy and good judgment as a volunteer guardian ad litem, you become an invaluable advocate for a child by representing their best interests to the court.

Volunteers are critical to the success of our mission. As people move away, take new jobs or otherwise become unable to serve, we must continually recruit new volunteers.

In order to meet our representation goals, we are currently working to recruit and train forty-five new volunteers by the end of the year.

Volunteering with our program is a very rewarding experience, so please consider becoming a guardian ad litem. We provide you with the necessary training and assign a member of our staff to work with you on cases.

Our website contains a lot of information that should answer any questions that you may have. The following pages are a good place to start.

Are you ready to get started? Completing an application is the first step. After the receipt of your completed and signed application, our office will work with you on the next steps.

There are two more pre-service training classes scheduled before the end of the year.

If you still have questions about any aspect of volunteering for our program, feel free to contact us at (850) 606-1213.

Any assistance that you can provide — whether by volunteering or sharing this message with your friends, families and co-workers — is greatly appreciated.

New Continuing Education Resource and Topic Added

A new library item and a new topic have been added to our continuing education resource center.

You can read Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act — a fact sheet about H.R. 4980 introduced during the 113th Congress (2013–2014) and signed into law on September 29, 2014 — in the Families and Victimization of Children topics.

Helping to organize our growing library of resources, we added a new Substance Abuse topic and added two existing library items to it.

New Events: CAII Wine Tasting for GAL and Wine Toss for SOAC

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.

Take 5: to Learn About the "Keys to Independence" and Website

keystoindependence.org website home page

Take 5: to explore the new Keys to Independence website and learn more about how guardian ad litem staff and volunteers can help eligible youth obtain assistance getting a driver's license and insurance!

Obtaining a driver's license is a key part of normalcy for any youth. And for dependency kids, it's really not a luxury for most. How youth get to schools, jobs and other normalcy activities is an important part of the equation in our kids' journey to independence. For many, not only is getting a license an important growth milestone, it can mean the difference in how successful transitioning youth are in working, learning and living as adults. But in the past, many of our youth have faced barriers in achieving these goals.

No transitioning youth should be denied the opportunity to obtain both a license and insurance when they are eligible to do so. But many may need help to achieve those goals. To help remedy that, the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program was privileged to lead the charge with our legislative initiative to make this life milestone a priority. All youth deserve this normalcy opportunity without the imposition of barriers that this new law serves to eliminate. That certainly includes dependent youth where having a license might mean the difference in a successful transition to adulthood. It is important that each of our staff and volunteers who work with youth ages fifteen and up encourage them to explore this important life benefit. There may well be real world solutions that can help youth more readily achieve licensing and obtain insurance.

There is a brand new resource available to youth, caregivers and GAL staff/volunteers who are investigating how to obtain a driver's license or to receive help in financing insurance costs. Community Based Care of Central Florida has been selected as the contractor for this three year pilot and is working hard to get the word out about the benefits available to youth seeking their license and insurance. The pilot project will reimburse youth and caregivers for the costs associated with driver's education, driver's licenses and other costs related to getting a driver's license as well as motor vehicle insurance. We need to be sure that youth and caregivers are aware of these resources!

Be sure to visit the website that has been developed by Community Based Care of Central Florida to provide more information and describe the application process. Make sure this information gets out to all GAL staff and volunteers who work with these youth.

Wouldn't it be great if all transitioning youth had their license and insurance well before their eighteenth birthday? With this information and the resources now available, it is possible!

Let's get rolling!

New Training Times, Continuing Education Events, Page Updates

Pre-Service Training Update

The times for the October, November and December classroom pre-service training for new volunteers have been updated. Each month's classroom training is conducted over six days. While the dates remain unchanged, all classes will now be from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

You can see the full schedule for each month and learn more on the pages below.

New Continuing Education 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.

Additional Updates