BENEFITING: GUARDIAN AD LITEM FOUNDATION OF TAMPA BAY INC
EVENT DATE: Sep 23, 2017
In Florida, Guardians Ad Litem are volunteers who advocate on behalf of children in the dependency system--they make sure that their voice is heard and their only concern is that of the child(ren) to whom they have been assigned. Children who have a Guardian Ad Litem volunteer do better in school, have fewer placement changes, receive more services, are more likely to be adopted, spend less time in foster care and are 50% less likely to return to care than children in the system without a Guardian Ad Litem. Here's one child's story: Eliza entered the care system at 8 years old. She was barely walking and had a feeding tube. Her mother was dead and her father was not able to care for her. A GAL volunteer was appointed in 2010, and followed this little girl’s journey closely--he wanted her to have a forever home. He worked hard to work with her case manager to have them interview a family in Texas. The GAL was successful at getting this family interviewed and the match process proceeded. Eliza was moved to Texas last summer. She is thriving-her feeding tube was removed, her medications reduced and she has special shoes to improve her walking. She now has a large family. If not for the GAL, this little girl would have likely aged out of foster care and faced placement in a state institution for the rest of her life. Now she has a forever family and the care she needs!