Make Your Volunteer Hours Count

By Anne, a Fellow GAL

 

It is important for us to document all of the time that we provide volunteer services to our children.  The local GAL Offices provide this information to the State Office.  Future funding may be determined by how many volunteer hours are needed, in order to provide services in our County. The State office gathers the volunteer hours from Optima.  They use these hours in promotional materials and presentations to the legislature to show how many hours and resources our Program gives for the children to secure funding.

 

For home or school visits, the minute you get in your car you are “on the clock”.  Document the time and your mileage.  When you arrive at your destination, write down double the mileage and double the travel time, so that you can run errands or whatever, on the way home.  Now just add the amount of time that you spend at the home or school.  So, if it is 15 minutes and 8 miles one way, plus one hour at the home, you should document a total of 1.50 hours and 16 miles.

 

If you take the child into the community, track you mileage and the amount of money that you spend on the child.  My kids like ice cream!

When you make or receive phone calls or e-mails, track your time.  Something as simple as a piece of paper with the child’s name on it.  You may benefit from the use of the Activity Time Logs.  One Log can last three months.  You can just hash tag once for every phone call and/or e-mail.  Make room for key words to jog your memory for documentation purposes.  You can wrap it all up in one monthly progress note; sometimes.

 

While you are writing your Progress Note; document your time!  We have categories for Report Writing and for Record Review.  Use them!  Are you calling around town trying to find specific services for your child?  Count the time.  Are you reading the child’s CBHA?  Count the time.  Are you consulting with your CAM?  Count the time.  Are you driving to an FTC?  Count the meeting time plus the driving time.  Are you sitting at the Courthouse for two hours waiting to be called?  Count the time.  Give yourself and the Program, the credit for all of the time that you dedicate to the children of Brevard County!  Thank You.

Carry on GAL Warriors, and Count Your Time!

About the Guardian ad Litem Program

Thousands of abused, abandoned and neglected children become the subject of judicial proceedings each year in Florida. Their voices are often unheard and best interests overlooked in the complicated and overburdened adversary process. Guardians ad Litem (GAL) are citizens who volunteer to become part of a court program to represent the best interests of an assigned child. The volunteer Guardian ad Litem is a representative for the child before the court, social service agencies and the community. He/she also protects the child during the family crisis, court proceedings, and follows the child’ progress.

About Friends of Children of Brevard

Friends of Children funds clothing, beds, bikes, computers, diapers, school supplies, luggage, holiday gifts, duffle bags and other items not provided by government agencies. We also provide these children with some basic opportunities and access to normal childhood activities.

 

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