Half of Yadkin’s foster children without advocate in court

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

Of the 51 abused and neglected Yadkin children currently in foster care, half 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.

“A number of new cases have come in and we just don’t have enough volunteers to cover them all,” said Cathy Davidson at the Yadkinville GAL office in the courthouse.

A new training class is scheduled to be held Wednesday mornings 9 a.m. – noon, June 13 – July 25 (skipping the week of July 4th.) Application is required by May 30.

Guardians ad Litem are not “guardians” in the traditional sense, Davidson explained. 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. Most importantly, they visit 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.

For more information visit call 336-937-2623 or visit www.volunteerforgal.org for the application.

Guardian ad Litems critical; Sign up for June training by May 30