Hernando County needs more Guardian ad Litems

- Guardian ad Litems are seen as the voice of children in the court system, and Hernando County needs more of them.

According to the county, more than 440 abused and neglected children are in the county courts. Most are younger than 12 and have been separated from their parents because of alcohol or drug addictions.

Guardian ad Litem is described as a trained volunteer appointed by the court to be an advocate for the child. He or she works as a team with a volunteer supervisor and a program attorney. That volunteer will have to become familiar with the child’s case and make recommendations to the judge to ensure they grow up in a “safe, stable and permanent home.” 

County officials say that when a child is assigned to Guardian ad Litem, they will spend less time in foster care and do better in school. 

Those who are interested in volunteering must be at least 21 years old, complete a 30-hour program and pass a criminal background check. Volunteers will spend an average of 10-15 hours a month on a case.

The next two-day training session for the Guardian ad Litem program in Hernando County is on August 24 and 25. For more information, contact Amarilys Ortega at 352-343-2736 or email Amarilys.Ortega@gal.fl.gov. To request an application, visit www.GuardianadLitem.org.

Up Next:

Up Next

  • Hernando County needs more Guardian ad Litems
  • Former special needs teacher accused of rape
  • Cortez service industry bands together to keep struggling workers afloat
  • Pasco K9 tracks down suspect who tried to kidnap child, deputies say
  • Farewell, Princess Ulele: Temporary fixture removed from Riverwalk
  • Five months later, Tampa police name suspect in artist's death
  • Polk volunteers gear up for Florence relief mission
  • 2 U.S. airmen, Vietnam vets forever connected by lifesaving kidney donation from one to the other
  • Ruby, a furry fire victim, will become the next Palm Harbor firefighter
  • Schools and roads: Is there room for two tax hikes on the ballot?