Volunteers Needed For Guardian ad Litem Program

For many of us, this time of year brings thoughts of family, friends and gratitude. In between menu planning and holiday card writing, the Cass Elias McCarter Guardian ad Litem Program invites you to bring hope and stability to an abused and neglected child in Dillon County.
Nationally, more than half a million children each year suffer abuse or neglect, often resulting in the need for court intervention. A Guardian ad Litem volunteer is the eyes and ears for a judge and the person who tells the child’s story to the court. A volunteer’s advocacy ensures that children have a safe, permanent home and the appropriate services to lead a healthy, successful life.
Ordinary people make an extraordinary difference in the lives of abused and neglected children. For LaQuonda Vanderhorst, the decision to become a child advocate was an easy one.
“The reason why I decided to become a Guardian ad Litem was so that I could make a difference in a child’s life and give them hope for a better future. I grew up wanting to help people, so when I learned about the Guardian ad Litem program, I knew it was the opportunity I was looking for to truly make a positive difference,” said Vanderhorst.
Research has found that once a GAL volunteer is assigned, approximately 95 percent of children do not languish in long-term foster care and 90 percent of children never re-enter the child welfare system. Training, support and supervision are offered to assist volunteers as they work to make a difference for children.
To volunteer, you must be at least 21 years old, be able to pass background and reference checks and successfully complete the free 30-hour training. The next training session for Dillon County will be held soon. Please go to scgal.org to learn more.
Shorter days and cooler temperatures mean the giving season is upon us. Give the most precious gift to an abused and neglected child in Dillon: Hope.

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