A new volunteer was recently sworn in as a Guardian ad Litem (G.A.L.) for neglected and abused children in Yadkin County. Welcome the following Guardian ad Litem Volunteer Advocate, Teresa Melton. The Guardian ad Litem Program serves children in the county who have been abused or neglected and are involved with the Yadkin Department of Social Services. The Guardian ad Litem Program is administered under the North Carolina Judicial Branch through the Administrative Office of the Courts. The goal of the Guardian ad Litem Program is to ensure that each child is placed in a safe, permanent home as soon as possible. The Guardian ad Litem Program recruits, trains, and assists volunteers from the community in advocating for the children of abuse and neglect. Each volunteer is responsible for being the “voice” of the children in court. These children are in Yadkin Department of Social Services legal and physical custody due to neglect, abuse, or dependency. Guardian ad Litem Volunteers do an independent evaluation of the child’s current placement, each parents’ situation, any services that the family may need to reunify, any needed services for the child, and the specific wishes of the child. Once the volunteer has evaluated all areas, the volunteer then makes the court aware of the child’s wishes and the volunteer’s recommendations to meet the child’s best interest. Guardian ad Litem Volunteer Advocates spend a few hours each month monitoring the child and the case. The Guardian ad Litem works with a G.A.L. Program Supervisor, social workers at Yadkin Department of Social Services, any schools or daycares, as well as all other agencies involved with a child in order to assure that the child’s best interests are being followed. The Guardian ad Litem is a voice for the child regarding their wishes and the best interest recommendations for that child.
Yadkin County currently has 60+ children involved with the Guardian ad Litem Program and in Yadkin Department of Social Services custody. There are currently 17 Guardian ad Litem volunteers in Yadkin County and they are serving 42 children.
If you would like to join in helping these children in our community, please consider becoming a Guardian ad Litem Volunteer Advocate. There are children waiting just for YOU to speak up for them and help provide them with a safe, permanent, and loving home. If you know someone who is a Guardian ad Litem Volunteer Advocate, please tell them “Thank You” for all the hard work they are doing to help children in Yadkin County who are in need.
Yadkin County can still use more Guardian ad Litem Volunteers. There are children who need a voice in court and they are waiting for you! For more information, contact us at 336-651-4421 or go to our state website at www.ncgal.gov. You can make a difference. A child is waiting.