Volunteer guardians ad litem are required to complete a three phase pre-service training program to become certified.
Our comprehensive curriculum includes independent study, classroom learning and fieldwork. Prospective volunteers must first submit an application before starting any training.
Pre-service training is separate from the annual continuing education requirement, twelve hours of activities that must be completed to maintain a guardian ad litem certification.
You can learn more about the training phases, download resources and then complete the assignments in each section.
- Phase 1: Independent Study
- Phase 2: Classroom Training
- Phase 3: Fieldwork
- Sign Language Interpreters and Closed Captioning
The independent study portion of your pre-service training consists of three web-based courses. These courses are available in the state's I am for the child Academy, which requires an account.
- Visit the "Create a new account" page
- Enter your information into all of the fields
- Select the "Sign up" button
You are signed in immediately after creating your account. The three required independent study courses are listed at the top of the "All Courses" page.
- Chapter One: Introducing the GAL Volunteer Role
- Chapter Two: Child Abuse and Neglect
- Chapter Three: Child Well-Being
When you are ready to begin, select and take each course.
- Select the "View Course" button
- Select the "Enroll" button
You will earn a certificate after completing each course and passing each quiz. Please download and send us your three certificates.
- Visit your academy certificates page
- Select each certificate and download it as a PDF
- Email the three certificates to christine.gornikgal.fl.gov
If you prefer, you may print the certificates and bring them to the first day of your classroom training.
Please complete all independent study courses before participating in the next phase.
Classroom training sessions feature a team of effective trainers selected from program staff, volunteers and child welfare agencies in the community. Browse the upcoming training schedule below to register for upcoming classes, traditionally held monthly over six weekday evenings.
- Volunteer Training: January 2019 (1 of 6)
Thursday, January 3, 2019 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
- Volunteer Training: January 2019 (2 of 6)
Monday, January 7, 2019 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
- Volunteer Training: January 2019 (3 of 6)
Thursday, January 10, 2019 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
- Volunteer Training: January 2019 (4 of 6)
Monday, January 14, 2019 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
- Volunteer Training: January 2019 (5 of 6)
Thursday, January 17, 2019 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
- Volunteer Training: January 2019 (6 of 6)
Thursday, January 24, 2019 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Due to budgetary constraints, volunteers are not permitted to keep the training manuals used during class. Instead, you may download a copy for your own personal use.
Fieldwork is the exciting, practical and most hands-on portion of training that allows you to apply the knowledge and skills gained during independent study and in the classroom.
This phase begins with the assignment of a case as a provisional guardian ad litem. All fieldwork activities will be performed under the guidance of your peer mentor and child advocacy manager.
Required fieldwork activities and guidance are detailed in the fieldwork matrix. Use the fieldwork checklist to keep track of your progress with your peer mentor. Completed fieldwork checklists must be turned in within forty-five days of receiving your case.
Please email christine.gornikgal.fl.gov when you complete each task on the matrix.
Six pre-service training videos are available to the hearing impaired community upon request. These streaming videos feature sign language interpreters and closed captioning.
The training coordinator can provide you with the password to the videos.