[Tallahassee, Florida] – The Florida Department of Children and Families is backing a statewide recruitment drive for more Guardian ad Litem volunteers to give a voice to children in the state dependency system.
The campaign features billboards with the message “What’s Your Superpower? Become a Guardian ad Litem” – depicting a GAL volunteer holding a child by the hand – both wearing capes – and the words “I Am for the Child.”
“We want Floridians to know that vulnerable children need them to step up,” DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said this week.
The billboards will be accompanied by hundreds of radio spots, both focused on communities where the need for children’s advocates is greatest.
The billboards will run in 13 judicial circuits statewide over the next two months, thanks to a grant from the National Association of Court Appointed Special Advocates and the generosity of Clear Channel, Lamar Advertising and Outfront Media.
Meanwhile, the state’s public radio stations will air 30-second PSAs in every judicial circuit in the state – a total of 480 spots – with Guardian ad Litem’s “I Am for the Child” slogan.
When abused and neglected children are removed from their homes for safety reasons, a court hearing is held and ideally, a GAL volunteer is assigned to represent them as soon as possible. These volunteers advocate for the child’s best interests in dependency court – including for services, permanency and normalcy.
But not every Florida child has an advocate – hence, the recruitment campaign.
“We have a special responsibility to give dependent children a voice,” Secretary Carroll said.
To learn more about the Guardian ad Litem Program or to become a volunteer visit www.GuardianadLitem.org or call 1-866-341-1GAL.