What is Guardian ad Litem

Helping Children Reach Home through Heartfelt Advocacy.

We believe that every child deserves the right to a safe, loving and permanent home.

The Guardian ad Litem Program is a dedicated team that serves Florida’s children, who have been removed from a home, missing the love and care they need. These children are placed in the protection of the state and the dependency court system.

Children should not endure the system without a champion – that is why the Guardian ad Litem Program exists. Since 1980, we have been a steadfast advocate for these vulnerable children.

Our skilled Guardian ad Litem Program team commits their efforts and hearts to represent these children so that each child’s needs are met in court. We make certain to continue our unwavering support for each child so they can succeed and thrive in their community.

Helping Children

Together, with your support, our Guardian ad Litem Program is committed to ensure children are free from harm and reach a caring home – every day, in every Florida neighborhood.

We love the work we do. Our work builds stronger and more resilient children, families and communities.

When you join or support the program, you are making a positive impact in a child’s life and helping future generations of our great state.

We believe in Florida’s children – We believe in heartfelt advocacy.

We are the Guardian ad Litem Program of Florida’s 19th Judicial Circuit.

Together, We Can Help Children Reach Home.

Our Team Members Make a Difference

Our team features professionals that are committed to the well being of every child in need.

Child’s Best Interest (CBI) Attorneys

Attorneys employed by the Program to protect a child’s best interest, either in the circuit dependency courts or the appellate courts.
There is no attorney-client relationship between the CBI Attorney and the child; however, representing the best interest of the child
is the sole purpose of their advocacy.

Child Advocate Managers (CAM)

CAM’s are the subject matter expert who advise, coaches, manage, and support Volunteer Child Advocates within the team model of advocacy.
A CAM may also be asked to accept the role and responsibilities of a GAL for a child when an Advocate is not available.

Volunteer Child Advocates

Volunteer Child Advocates (VCA) are a voice for children who have often been removed from their families and placed in the Dependency Court System. The Volunteer Child Advocate works under the general guidance and supervision of a Child Advocate Manager (CAM). Volunteer Child Advocates are assigned to a case and work in conjunction with their CAM and Child’s Best Interest Attorney (CBI). While every case is different, these are the general responsibilities of a Volunteer Child Advocate:

  • Conduct monthly face to face visits with assigned children
  • Document case activities and observations in our online case management system
  • Prepare written Guardian ad Litem reports for the court
  • Attend court hearings for your assigned case
  • Gather information and documentation that may include educational, medical and other records as needed
  • Attend scheduled case conferences and academic meetings when applicable