It’s summertime and Yadkin County’s children are out of school once again. It’s a great time for most children, but for those in abusive or neglectful homes, it can be a dangerous time because the extra eyes on them during the school year are not there.
Currently, Yadkin County has 56 abused and neglected children in foster care because they were not safe at home. That doesn’t count the many, many more children and families with which Yadkin County Human Services Agency works to provide services to keep children out of foster care.
To help meet the needs, Guardian ad Litem volunteers speak for the children in court and help ensure their safety, health and best interests are at the forefront of any decisions made. Appointed by the judges to be their eyes and ears on the children. GALs visit the child once a month and monitor their case. They give the child a voice in the legal process as their parents try to repair their families.
Unfortunately, 32 of our 56 abused and neglected children are without GAL advocates.
Yadkin County has 10 wonderful guardians ad litem who are working to make sure these children can have safe and happy homes permanently. Two more of our neighbors are currently in training to become a Guardian ad Litem.
Unfortunately even more volunteers are needed. National statistics show that children with a volunteer Guardian ad Litem reach permanent stability quicker than those who do not. The need is real. The rewards life-changing.
If you see this and realize you could do something to help the children as well, please go to www.volunteerforgal.org for information and to fill out an application.
Or if you have questions, call me in the GAL office at the Yadkin County Courthouse at 336-793-6171.
Guardian ad Litem Program supervisor
NC Courts D23, Yadkin County