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Greetings from Circuit Director Cookie Mooney

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Dear Guardian ad Litem Volunteers and Supporters,

Imagine you are a child being taken from your home and put in a foster home, a group home or with a relative placement as a result of dependency.

Now imagine that this new and strange home is hundreds of miles away from the place you know as your home….far from your parents, far from any relatives, far from your friends and far from the sights and sounds you are familiar with.

In the 10th Circuit, we have over 45 children that are placed in distant Circuits or out of state. Like the children that are located in our community, these children are also in need of someone who will make sure that their voices are heard, even if they are miles away from where they call home.

As the child’s volunteer Guardian, you would be responsible for court appearances and pertinent staffings, but not for monthly visits. You would receive monthly reports from the visiting circuit, and, with the guidance of your Volunteer Coordinator and legal team, would play a critical role in helping these children receive all necessary services, as well as achieve permanency in a timely manner.

In a similar manner, children that have come from other circuits within the state of Florida also need your assistance in their time of need. These children, much like the ones who have been placed outside our community, require someone who will be there to speak on their behalf. As a courtesy volunteer Guardian, you would only be responsible with making monthly visits, and your Volunteer Coordinator would assist in reporting back to the assigned circuit any needs or concerns you observe during your time with these needy children. Your work as a courtesy GAL would be beneficial in achieving permanency and addressing their best interest.

The need for these children to be represented by you is vital to them getting back to normalcy. Please contact your Volunteer Coordinator to find out more about advocating for an out-of-circuit child.