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Frequently Asked Questions

Children’s Guardian Fund

What is the Children’s Guardian Fund?

The Children’s Guardian Fund (CGF) was established in 1996 as a 501(c)(3) to supplement the state aid provided for the 1,000 plus area children in care as a result of abandonment, abuse or neglect in the 12th Judicial District.

What is CGF’s mission?

To help abused and neglected children through support of the State of Florida 12th Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program (hereinafter referred to as the GALP); to develop and manage resources that will help fill the special needs of, and provide developmental enrichment for, abused and neglected children in the GALP, or former GAL children transitioning to independent living; to assist with recruiting, training, and retention programs for GAL volunteers; and to promote public awareness and encourage community support for the needs of abused and neglected children in the GALP.

 

Guardian ad Litem Child Advocate

What is a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) child advocate?

A Guardian ad Litem child advocate is a volunteer appointed by the court to protect the rights of and advocate for the best interests of a child involved in a court proceeding as a result of alleged abuse or neglect by his/her family.

What types of cases require a GAL child advocate?

Children who are under the supervision of the Florida Department of Children and Families and are involved in court proceedings require a GAL child advocate.

Do I need to be an attorney to be a GAL child advocate?

No. Anyone with common sense, compassion and dedication to children can be a child advocate. The GAL program provides you with the training and professional support you will need to advocate for a child until a safe and permanent home is obtained.

How much time does it take to be a child advocate?

A GAL child advocate must successfully complete 30 hours of certification training and 12 hours annually of recertification training, and spend a minimum of eight to 10 hours per month working on the case.

What does a GAL child advocate do?

First, the advocate gets to know the child by talking with people involved in the child’s life such as parents and relatives, foster parents, teachers, medical professionals, attorneys, social workers and others. The information is gathered to help the advocate convey the best interests of the child to judges and relevant agencies. The advocate identifies resources and services for the child, and facilitates the relationship between all parties so that the child’s needs are met. The advocate also monitors the situation to make sure that court orders and the plans of the Florida Department of Children and Families are being carried out.

Funds raised by CGF make a vital difference for children in foster and state care and ensure that GAL volunteer child advocates are truly able to represent a child’s best interests.

For more detailed information about the responsibilities of a child advocate, visit the 12th Judicial Circuit GAL program website.

 

Donations

Where does my financial support go?

I. Normalcy and enrichment
GAL child advocates apply to CGF for funds to meet simple needs such as a prom dress or soccer cleats, or life-changing experiences such as therapeutic summer camps or music, art or sports lessons. Each request is tailored to a particular child’s physical and emotional well-being. Read more

II. Bridge to the Future/Next Step
CGF advocates for adolescents age 13 to 21 who need extra support as they transition out of foster care and into self-sufficiency. Our goal is to help these children become more successful academically and acquire important life skills before they start living independently. Read more

III. Provide a voice for every child
CGF supports the GAL program with funds for recruitment, training and retention, and hosts an annual appreciation lunch for the volunteers where they can network with one another. Funds raised by CGF make a vital difference for children in foster care and ensure that volunteer GAL child advocates are truly able to represent a child’s best interests.

Read more

Detailed financial information about CGF, including our most recent audited financial statement, is available at The Giving Partner.