The Guardian ad Litem Office

The Guardian ad Litem Office
A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is appointed by the Court to advocate for the best interests of the child.  These children have been removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. The GAL becomes familiar with the child’s case and makes recommendations to the Court to help ensure a safe, caring and permanent environment.  Our team consists of dedicated volunteers, professional program staff and attorneys.

The Facts

Did you know that more than 35,000 children in Florida are abused and neglected?  Currently, there are 28,000 children in Dependency Court in Florida.

There are over 500 children in the Dependency system in Osceola County.  Of those 500 children, 150 do not have a volunteer GAL assigned to their case.  With that being said, did you also know that a child who is assigned a GAL is half as likely to languish in foster care?  Often times, our kids are bounced around from foster home to foster home, and their caseworkers often fluctuate-leaving them with uncertainty and no one they can truly trust.  

Our mission is for every child to have a voice. We can all make a difference in a child’s life! 

Roles of the GAL

Information Gatherer

  • Collects information from people that are involved in the child’s life, such as: foster or group home parents, caregivers, and their teachers.

Community Advocate

  • Works with community partners to ensure that the child is receiving the assistance and support needed to succeed.

Courtroom Advocate

  • Makes independent recommendations to the Court and becomes the voice of a child, communicating the child’s best interests to the Court.

Positive Role Model/Mentor

  • Our volunteers provide a much needed positive and nurturing relationship built on trust.  We help them feel safe, cared for and that they really do matter.

“We can all work to pave a positive path to a child’s future of hope and emotional security.  Making a positive difference in the life of a child is one definition of legacy.”

Alan Abramowitz

Executive Director, Florida Guardian ad Litem Office