The hub of information on our website, the blog contains posts with announcements, news and events, articles, periodicals and additions or updates to our website.

This page contains all published posts sorted chronologically with the newest at the top.

Website Updates and BBQ Fundraiser Last Call

We have made a number of updates to our website to remove out-of-date items and add current information. Changes were made to the following pages.

  • Contact
  • Added Shirlynne Colson and Khamisi Thorpe
  • Updated Laurie Williams' mobile telephone
  • Removed Alex Castellanos, Christine Gornik, Tasha Loftin, Paige Nirenberg, Lillian Walker, and Saffa Wilkes
  • Leadership
  • Added the 2021 Joy Aukema Taps Children's Advocate Award to Deborah Moore's biography
  • Training
  • Updated the "Phase 2" section and "Phase 3" checklist

Last Call: Great Southern BBQ Fundraiser

If you have not already reviewed the Great Southern BBQ Fundraiser menu and placed your order, time is running out. You have until this Friday, July 30, 2021 at 11:00 AM to order online and contribute toward the fundraiser.

We appreciate your assistance. Thank you!

New Event: Great Southern BBQ Fundraiser

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 added to our calendar.

You can also browse and access events on our calendar grid.

Great Southern BBQ Fundraiser

Partner organization Guardian ad Litem Foundation Second Circuit, Inc. is hosting a fundraiser benefiting our program in time for outdoor barbecuing season.

The sixth annual Great Southern BBQ Fundraiser is a delicious way to join the foundation on its mission to provide for the needs of local abused and neglected children. Guardian ad Litem Foundation Second Circuit is a charitable, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit volunteer organization founded to support the Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program.

For this fundraiser, the foundation partnered with Johnston's Meat Market to offer five types of slowly cooked and hickory smoked meats: Boston butt, cured and smoked ham, smoked sausage links, country-style ribs, and smoked bacon slices.

Participating in the fundraiser is easy.

   ❶   Place your order by Friday, July 30, 2021

   ❷   Pick up your food on Friday, August 6, 2021

   ❸   Enjoy the food while helping local children

You can place your order online. Visit the event page for complete details and contact information.

Just in time for your summer cookout, the Great Southern BBQ Fundraiser is an easy way to make a difference in the life of a child and let someone else do some of the cooking.

Thank you for your support!

New Continuing Education Form and Materials

New Continuing Education Form

Updated versions of the Continuing Education Form form have been published. The form may be downloaded from the Form and Document Library in the "Forms and Documents: Annual Requirements" section.

New Continuing Education Materials

Twenty-one new continuing education resources are available to download from the "Complete Your Hours Now" section of the Continuing Education page. Volunteers may read these documents for up to twelve hours of credit.

If you have any questions about continuing education, reporting hours or annual certification, please email maritza.waddle@gal.fl.gov to contact our training coordinator.

New Resource and Updated Form; New Foundation Telephone

New Resource and Updated Form

School Contact List, a directory for public, charter and contract schools and special sites in Leon and Wakulla, has been added to the Current Volunteers page.

Additionally, an updated version of the Report to the Court form has been published. This document may be downloaded from the Form and Document Library.

New Foundation Telephone

Guardian ad Litem Foundation Second Circuit, Inc. has a new telephone number. You can now dial (850) 559-6561 to reach a foundation volunteer.

The telephone number has been added to the foundation's page.

New Continuing Education Events, Updated Document and New Volunteer Resource

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 added to our calendar.

  • Educational/Parent Surrogate Training 2020–2021
    Continuing Education
    Thursday, August 27, 2020
    Thursday, September 24, 2020
    Thursday, October 22, 2020
    Thursday, November 19, 2020
    Thursday, December 17, 2020
    Thursday, January 28, 2021
    Thursday, February 25, 2021
    Thursday, March 25, 2021
    Thursday, April 22, 2021
    Thursday, May 20, 2021

You can also browse and access events on our calendar grid.

Document Update

The Guardian ad Litem Caregiver Brochure on the Prospective Volunteers page has been updated. This document may be downloaded in the "Volunteer Advocate Position Description" section.

New Volunteer Resource

The Leon County Human Services Resource Guide, an annually-updated directory of Leon County services available to the community, has been added to the Current Volunteers page. This document may be downloaded in the "Resources" section.

Event Cancellations, Standards of Operation and Staff Directory Updates

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 cancelled and removed from our calendar due to COVID-19.

Form and Document Library

One updated document is now available to download in the Form and Document Library on the Current Volunteers page.

  • Standards of Operation
    filed under Forms and Documents: Standards and Guidelines

Staff Directory Update

Our staff directory on the Contact page has been updated to reflect recent personnel changes.

Please join us in congratulating Saffa Wilkes on her promotion to Child Advocate Manager. In addition, Melissa Moore-Josephs and Zoe Richmond have departed. We thank Melissa and Zoe for their service and wish them the best with their future endeavors.

Finally, mobile telephone numbers were added for Lisa Meola, Laurie Williams and Erica Zamarron.

Thank you and stay safe!

May and June 2020 Event Cancellations

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 cancelled and removed from our calendar due to COVID-19.

Thank you and stay safe!

New Webinar Events, Cancellations and COVID-19 Resources

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 added to our calendar.

You can also browse and access events on our calendar grid.

Event Cancellations

A number of cancellations recently took place due to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Resources

We are temporarily not conducting in-person interviews and training at this time. No worries, though! We have switched from our face-to-face format to telephone interviews and online training. Your health and safety is our priority, so we will be conducting everything remotely until it is safe to be in the community again.

As such, the "Apply To Volunteer" section on the Prospective Volunteers page has been updated with the current procedure.

Finally, for the latest information and resources related to COVID-19, visit the following links — also available on our home page under "Alerts and Reminders".

Stay healthy and be safe!

New Continuing Education Event, Event Cancellation and Pre-Service Training Update

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 added to our calendar.

You can also browse and access events on our calendar grid.

Event Cancellation

The Educational Surrogate Lunch and Learn training scheduled for Thursday, March 26, 2020 has been cancelled. Other sessions are available this year in April, May, August, September, October and November.

Pre-Service Training Update

The Training page has been updated to include a new pre-service training requirement. The web-based course "Understanding Implicit Bias" is now listed in the Phase 1: Independent Study section.

Volunteer of the Month: January 2020

Graphic for January 2020 Volunteer of the Month containing three individuals and congratulatory text.
Photo: gal2.org

Krista is being honored as the January Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Volunteer of the Month. Krista has been serving children in our community for over nine years.

Krista was nominated for January's volunteer of the month by child advocate manager Alex Castellanos. Currently Krista is retired and now spends time with her husband, children, and her guardian ad litem children. After raising three children, Krista became a personal trainer and eventually started her own personal training business.

Krista's road to becoming a guardian ad litem is relatable to many other volunteers. While always being active in her community through her children's schools, she felt she was not contributing her fullest. "I was one of ten moms handing out plates," she said.

While that type of volunteering should never be undervalued, Krista wanted to find a way to continue to help as her children became older and her youngest son transitioned into high school. After seeing a billboard, an article in the paper, and some personal research, Krista decided to be a volunteer. Guardian ad litem combined her love of kids and the volunteering role she was searching for. As Krista says, "this feels legit." Since then, Krista has served as a volunteer for nine years.

Alex nominated Krista for volunteer of the month for her great communication, updating the team in an effective manner about priorities, gathering detailed information that others have not, and recently her appropriate approach to a termination of parental rights trial.

"If it wasn't for Krista, my cases would look completely different… she does what no one else thinks to do." Alex continues, "Krista not only does her visits thoroughly and consistently, but she makes sure to communicate with case managers, providers, caregivers, and parents regularly, appropriately, and effectively in order to paint a 'bigger picture' that ultimately helps in both the small and larger decisions in the life of a case… Krista is a professional volunteer."

Krista has stayed involved with the program due to the relationships she has been able to develop with the children. Some have become adults and still reach out for advice and guidance. Krista in return provides encouragement. Currently, Krista talks with the child on her case almost every day.

What is the most rewarding part of being a volunteer with guardian ad litem? Krista says, "having a good outcome and feeling like you were part of it." For those who relate to Krista's story and may be interested themselves Krista has this to say: "if you are looking to make a difference in a child's life, this is the way to do it."

If you are interested in becoming a Guardian ad Litem or know someone who could be, please call Maritza Waddle at 850-606-1213 or check out www.gal2.org.