New Guardian ad Litem training begins July 18 in Yadkinville

Yadkin County is desperately seeking Guardian ad Litem volunteers to monitor the care and future outcomes for local abused and neglected children now involved in the foster care system.

“Illness among our volunteers has recently reduced our active numbers from 15 to only nine,” said Cathy Davidson at the Yadkinville GAL office on Elm Street. “A number of new cases have come in and we just don’t have enough volunteers to cover them all.”

Guardians ad Litem get to know the children, investigate their situation and options, and report to the court the children’s desires and best interests. They speak with parents, foster caregivers, social workers, health-care providers, teachers, and others to be able to advocate for the child’s welfare. Their reports help the judge make an informed decision about the child’s future and their contact with the child provides a friend looking out just for them while they’re in the system.

“The beauty of this volunteer opportunity is that it is relatively easy to fit truly significant work into your personal schedule,” Davidson said, explaining that the average time commitment after training may be no more than four to six hours a month, much of it done by phone and email.

“Some people think they could not bear knowing about the terrible things that have happened to these children, but not knowing about the abuse does nothing to prevent it from continuing. Guardian ad Litem volunteers work to help see that the bad things are in the past and don’t happen again,” Davidson said. “It’s actually very positive and extremely rewarding work that makes all the difference in a local child’s life.”

Anyone with the slightest flexibility in their daily schedules can easily volunteer as a GAL advocate, Davidson said. Thirty hours of training is required. Saturday morning classes will be offered in Yadkinville beginning July 18. Deadline to join these classes is July 15.

For more information, call Cathy Davidson at 336-849-7409.

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