Yadkin Children in foster care increases to 59

Staff Report

A series of evening classes will begin August 16, and continue each Thursday through September 20 to train new Guardian ad Litem volunteers.

Yadkin County desperately needs more Guardian ad Litem volunteers to monitor the care and future of local abused and neglected children involved in the foster care system as numbers continue to grow.

Of the 59 abused and neglected local children currently in foster care, 34 are without a volunteer Guardian ad Litem. National statistics show that children with a GAL advocate spend less time without a permanent, safe, and healthy home.

Application and an interview is required before you can take the training, so it’s important to get started as soon as possible.

Guardians ad Litem are not “guardians” in the traditional sense. They get to know the children, look into 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. These are all contacts that can be made on your own schedule by email or phone, Davidson said.

Most importantly, the GAL visits the children monthly to make sure they remain happy, healthy and safe in foster care. The GAL reports help the judge make an informed decision about the child’s future.

“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 4-8 hours a month after a case begins.

Visit www.volunteerforgal.org for the application and more information. Call Cathy Davidson at the Yadkin GAL office, 336-937-2623, for questions.

Guardians ad Litem needed, classes begin Aug. 16

Staff Report