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Rowan Guardian ad Litem to host training program

The Rowan County Guardian ad Litem Program has scheduled a new volunteer training class to begin on March 31.

A Guardian ad Litem advocate is a trained community volunteer who is appointed, along with a Guardian ad Litem attorney, by a district court judge to investigate and determine the needs of abused and neglected children petitioned into the court system by the Department of Social Services. Their role is mandated by state law.

Throughout North Carolina, the Guardian ad Litem Program seeks to serve the best interests of thousands of children who find themselves the subjects of court cases by assigning them Guardian ad Litem volunteers. The program exists in every county throughout the state and serves more than 15,000 children a year.

The volunteer’s responsibilities include investigating details of the case, collaborating with other participants in the case, recommending what is best for child by writing court reports, empowering the child’s voice, staying vigilant by constantly monitoring the case, and keeping all information confidential.

The main qualification for becoming a volunteer is to have a sincere concern for the well being of children. There are no education or experience requirements.

Guardian ad Litem advocates commit to spending at least eight hours per month on a case, and cases usually take at least a year to be resolved. In order to apply, you need to complete an application, a screening interview, and a criminal record check. Training (30 hours) is required before being sworn in by a judge and being appointed to a case. Volunteers are supervised by program staff. Continuing education training sessions on advocacy issues are offered periodically.

If you are interested in advocating for abused and/or neglected children or would like to learn more about the Guardian ad Litem Program, visit www.ncgal.org or call the Rowan County office at 704-262-5647, to request an application.

 

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