Every year, the Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Osceola County holds a toy drive. This toy drive benefits the many children who are making their way through the foster care system. The goal of this toy drive is to ensure that every child in foster care can receive a gift this holiday season.
This year, The Property Advocates, P.A. knew it was important to get involved. That is why we decided to help 15 children in the guardian ad litem program in Osceola County by providing them with exactly what was on their wish list. Many kids in the foster system do not know whether they will be included in this year’s holiday celebrations, which is why we are honored to be able to help.
How Can I Help?
Each year, the Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Osceola County holds many charitable events to help support children in the GAL program. For example, they hold a gala each year, and 100% of the proceeds benefit the children who need their services. The event also increased awareness about the GAL program in the community.
They also have a program called Laptops for Success, in which they donate laptops to teens in the local dependency system to help them with their education. The annual toy drive also helps local children feel remembered during the holidays.
Anyone can donate directly to the Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Osceola County at this link.
What Is a Guardian ad Litem (GAL)?
A guardian ad litem (GAL) is someone chosen by the courts to act in the best interests of a child who has been placed in the foster care system. Children who are assigned a guardian ad litem have typically been taken from their homes because they were being abused or neglected. In Florida, there are over 35,000 children who have been abused or neglected, and these guardians play a very important role in their lives.
Some of the responsibilities of a guardian ad litem include:
- Investigating: A guardian ad litem, also known as a GAL, will look into the child’s situation to determine their needs and wants. They may speak with the child’s family, friends, or teachers to learn more about the situation.
- Facilitating: A GAL will do their best to encourage collaboration between all parties involved in the case they are assigned, which will help the child’s needs be met. They will also look for services the child is eligible for and other resources that can aid the child, financial or otherwise.
- Advocating: A GAL will be responsible for advocating for their assigned child during court cases and when other agencies get involved. They will need to express the child’s wishes on their behalf sometimes.
- Monitoring: A GAL will pay attention to whether the court’s orders are being fulfilled by the people required to complete them. They will also check in on similar orders from the Department of Children and Families.
Who Can Become a GAL?
Anyone who is concerned for children in foster care and will commit to advocating for a child until they are placed in a permanent home can volunteer to become a guardian ad litem. A GAL should operate objectively and without judgment.
For someone to successfully become a guardian ad litem, they must be willing to complete an average of 10 hours per month working on the case they are assigned. They will also need 30 hours of certification training as well as 12 additional recertification hours each year.
The Property Advocates, P.A. Can Help
At The Property Advocates, P.A. our firm works hard to ensure property insurance policyholders receive fair coverage from their insurance companies. We help clients with complicated and high-value claims and prevent insurers from engaging in bad faith insurance practices. With decades of experience, our main goal is to ensure that our clients have an easy and rewarding claims process. If you are experiencing a complicated property insurance case, contact us today at (786) 686-5045 or via our online contact form.