What is a Guardian ad Litem?

A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is a volunteer appointed by the court to protect the rights and advocate the best interests of a child involved in a court proceeding. The volunteer Guardian ad Litem makes independent recommendations to the court by focusing on the needs of each child. The Guardian ad Litem advocates for the best interests of the child they represent.
A Volunteer Guardian ad Litem is an individual who is appointed by the court to advocate for children who come into the court system primarily as a result of alleged abuse or neglect.

For more information check out these Guardian ad Litem FAQs or visit www.guardianadlitem.org

What is a VAC (Orange County)?

Volunteer Advocates for Children (VAC) are trained volunteers who work with the attorney GALs in gathering records, interviewing witnesses, meeting the child and monitoring that the child’s progress as well as the Court’s orders.

Love Made Visible GAL/VAC Mentor:

If you have any questions or would like to connect with other GAL/VAC’s please contact Amanda Dittmer at 317-402-9423 or email her at amandadlovemadevisible@gmail.com

For more information by County

Orange County

Orange County- The Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association Guardian ad Litem Program

A guardian ad litem (GAL) must be an attorney in Orange County, however, non-attorneys may partner with the GAL as a Volunteer Advocate for Children (VAC). VACs are trained volunteers who work with the attorney GALs in gathering records, interviewing witnesses, meeting with the child and monitoring the child’s progress as well as the Court’s orders.

Website: legalaidocba.org
Address: 100 E. Robinson St. Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: 407-841-8310
Fax: 407-843-9713
VAC Program Coordinator:  Mexcye Roberts 407-841-8310 x3135  (mroberts@legalaidocba.org)

Assistant VAC Coordinator: Lauren Pankuch 407-841-8310 x3161 ( lpankuch@legalaidocba.org )

 

Volunteer Requirements
-Complete an application
-Provide three personal references
-Attend a free educational program consisting of 8 hours of in depth training
-Submit to a criminal background and employment verification check
-Complete an in person interview

Next Training Session: TBD

Lake County

Lake County- Guardian Ad Litem Program

Address:418 W Alfred St Tavares, FL 32778
Website: http://www.guardianadlitem5.org/
Phone: 352-343-2736
Fax:
Circuit 5 Recruiter: Diana Hollwedel, E-amil: diana.hollwedel@gal.fl.gov

Volunteer Requirements
-Be at least 21 years old
-Pass a criminal background screening
-Complete 30hrs of training; 12hrs annually recertification process
-A minimum of 1 visit every 30 days is required
-A commitment of at least 1 year
-No experience necessary

Next Training Session: TBD

Osceola County

Osceola County- Guardian Ad Litem Program

Website: http://www.galosceola.org/
Address: 2 Courthouse Sq Kissimee, FL 34741
Phone: 407-742-6655
Fax: 407-742-6670
Volunteer Recruitment and Media Coordinator: Gem Hernandez 321-442-0040 Email: gem.hernandex@gal.fl.gov

Volunteer Requirements
-Be at least 21 years old
-Pass a criminal background screening
-Complete 30hrs of training; 12hrs annually recertification process
-A minimum of 1 visit every 30 days is required
-A commitment of at least 1 year
-No experience necessary

Next Training Session: TBD

Seminole County

Seminole County-Guarian Ad Litem Program

Website: http://www.galseminolecounty.org/
Address: 190 Bush Blvd. Sandford, FL 32773
Phone: 407-665-5370
Fax: 407-665-5375
Volunteer Recruiter/Community Liaison: Diane Klebanow 407-665-5386

Volunteer Requirements
-Be at least 21 years old
-Pass a criminal background screening
-Complete 30hrs of training; 12hrs annually recertification process
-A minimum of 1 visit every 30 days is required
-A commitment of at least 1 year
-No experience necessary

Next Information Session November 10, 2015
Next Training Session January 2016