In my latest Patch.com article, I began recalling my time working at the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center–my first job ever with Operation PAR, Inc. in 1999. I spent a lot of time hearing stories from youth–some funny, many tragic and others wildly disturbing. Over the years, some of these stories never leave you. One of these I highlighted in this article. Children need voices, they need someone to look out after their rights. When parents and caregivers fail them, who is there to look out for these kids?
The answer: often it is a volunteer, a dedicated member of the community assigned by the court–a guardian ad litem.
I recently interviewed Maria Costa, community outreach coordinator for the Guardian ad Litem Program in the 6th Judicial Circuit.
“A guardian ad litem is an independent voice, advocating for the best interest of the children,” Costa said. “The guardian ad litem has no other agenda than to see the child in a safe, stable and permanent home.”
Check out the full article here, and please leave a comment or just say hello on the website. Until next week…