Continuing Education

Little girl reading in a library

As laws change, methodologies evolve and new situations arise, it is important that our volunteers and staff have easy access to relevant information and the support of other guardians ad litem.

Our continuing education resource center is a comprehensive library of free learning tools available for general reference. Many of the resources also qualify for credit hours used to satisfy annual recertification requirements.

You can browse resources by topic and type, review the annual requirements and report your hours in Optima.

Resources by Topic

Resources by Type

The resource center was updated on Sunday, July 25, 2021. You can learn about updates in our blog and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Annual Requirements

All volunteer guardians ad litem are required to complete at least twelve hours of in-service continuing education and sign a code of conduct form PDF annually to maintain certification.

Start your credit hours on or after Monday, January 1
Complete and report all hours by Monday, December 31

Continuing education credit hours may be earned in the following ways.

  • Attend classroom training provided by the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program
  • Attend classroom training provided by any child advocacy related organization
  • Attend live webinars or online training provided by any child advocacy related organization
  • Watch films, videos or slide presentations that focus on child advocacy
  • Read articles or booklets in our continuing education resource center
  • Participate in other qualifying activities with advanced approval from the training coordinator or circuit director

Volunteers are encouraged to include the following training topics when earning credit hours.

  • Educational Advocacy — three hours of classroom training
  • Psychotropic Medication — two hours of classroom training or articles
  • Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking — two hours of classroom training
  • Florida's Early Childhood Court — one hour of classroom training or articles

When completing activities, keep track of the time it takes you to read articles and booklets; watch videos and films; participate in online training; or attend live webinars and face-to-face training. If you cannot take part in an entire training session, attend what you can and report those hours.

After you complete any activity, report your hours using Optima.

You must complete and report all of your hours by Monday, December 31

Complete Your Hours Now

In addition to the continuing education opportunities available in the resource library, volunteers may also read the following group of articles for up to twelve hours of credit. You can then report your hours using Optima or the form available on the Current Volunteers page.

All documents in PDF PDF format.

  1. 2020 Kids Count Data Book
  2. Addressing The Mental Health Needs Of Racial And Ethnic Minority Youth
  3. Best Practices For Mentoring Programs
  4. Dying To Ask For Help: Suicide Trends And Treatment Disparities Among Us Adolescents
  5. Embracing Equity
  6. Evidence Base For Avoiding Family Separation In Child Welfare Practice
  7. Family Time And Visitation For Children And Youth In Out Of Home Care
  8. Foster Care As Support To Families
  9. Guiding Principles For Family Time
  10. How COVID Amplifies Dangers For LGBTQ Youth In Care
  11. LGBTQ Toolkit 2012
  12. OJJDP 2019 Annual Report
  13. Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package Of Policy Programs And Practices
  14. Promising Program Models For EFC And Transition Services
  15. Reentry Starts Here: A Guide For Youth In Long Term Juvenile Corrections And Treatment Programs
  16. Starting Strong Credit Building Foster Youth
  17. Supporting LGBTQ Youth In Child Welfare Through Cross System Collaboration
  18. Supporting Older Youth Beyond 18
  19. Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Children In Foster Care: An Implementation Manual
  20. Traumatic Impact Of Racism On Young People
  21. Trevor Project Coming Out Handbook

The Importance of Learning

  • As children's needs change, you need to learn more
  • Laws and information change; we get updated information
  • We learn new ways to support the children and their families
  • The work we do is important
  • It is good opportunity to network with other GALs
  • So we can remember why we do the work we do
  • Our questions can be answered
  • Knowledge is power
  • Each child is different
  • We need to remain eligible to do this work
  • We get energized when we attend training
  • You can never know enough to do the work we do
  • It helps me to help my kids and others
  • We get more tools we can use to advocate for our children
  • We learn so that we can better advocate for our children
  • We learn to partner with other resources to benefit our children and families
  • Everything we learn is important — we become inspired to make a difference
  • We are reminded that we are not alone

Email Training Coordinator

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.