A Gift That Keeps On Giving: Guardian ad Litem Advocates

At this time of year, we ask ourselves “What can I do for someone else?”  Have you ever thought about the gift of your time?  Did you know that there are children in the court system through no fault of their own?  These are youth that have been alleged by the Department of Social Services to have been abused or neglected.

In order to help these children move through the court system toward safe, permanent homes, the Guardian ad Litem Program (GAL) trains individual citizens to investigate and determine the needs of these youth.   The GAL volunteer is provided support and supervision as they work to advocate for the child’s best interest in court alongside an attorney. Maybe you’d like to ensure a child has a voice in court and help pave a child’s future of hope.  Are you that person?

Recently several individuals agreed to give the gift of themselves and the Guardian ad Litem Program had a swearing-in for these volunteer child advocates in Harnett County.  The volunteers completed the required advocate training and the Honorable Judge Caron Stewart sworn in the advocates.  Pictured left to right is Marie Mobley, GAL Attorney Advocate, volunteer advocates Regan Kerns, Angela Jacobs, Judge Stewart and volunteer advocates Mishell Gonzalez and Brandy Pope-Woods.

According to newly sworn advocate Brandy Pope-Woods, “I am excited to embark on my new journey as a GAL. By becoming a GAL, I am able to assist in making a positive impact in the life of a child, as well as my community. Many thanks to the GAL staff for providing adequate training and resources to start us on the right path as a child advocate.”

The Guardian ad Litem Program in District 11 serves Johnson, Harnett and Lee Counties. There are approximately 500 children in the District 11 GAL Program and around 80 children are in need of an advocate to help them through this difficult time in their life.  They need a voice to speak up for them.  If you think this is something you’d like to do, contact the Guardian ad Litem Program at 919-209-5550 or 910-814-4690.   For more information about the program go to www.volunteerforgal.org.

The next training class begins in January so please, respond now to reserve your space.