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Become an Advocate for an Abused or Neglected Child

child abuse | social services | child neglect

Hernando County’s guardian ad litem program needs volunteers who will advocate and follow up with children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse, abandonment or neglect.

HERNANDO COUNTY – April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and with the COVID19 pandemic, much will be different this year.

The Hernando County Guardian ad Litem program, more than ever, needs volunteers who will advocate and follow up with children who have been removed from home because of abuse, abandonment or neglect. In accordance with the stay-at-home order by Gov. Ron DeSantis, visitations to children and court proceedings are taking place virtually.

Social distancing practices have also impacted the program’s recruiting and training events, but officials said they are committed to providing virtual resources to recruit, interview and train future volunteers. For many abused children, their guardian ad litem volunteer is the one constant adult presence in their lives.

Intense advocacy can break the cycle of abuse and neglect. When children grow up in homes where their only adult role models respond to them with violence and disregard for their needs, they repeat that cycle with their own children. When a guardian ad litem volunteer intercedes, it not only changes the course of one child’s life, it makes an impact for generations.

Your advocacy for children not only will help end child abuse, it will improve our community for all residents. Children who are abused and do not get the support they need to heal are more likely than other kids to drop out of school, end up homeless, turn to crime, and rely as adults on social welfare programs. When people work together to protect vulnerable children, it saves lives and tax dollars.

There are many life-threatening and incurable diseases that afflict children, but the community has the cure for child abuse.The cure lies within each of us and now is the time to act, officials say.

The guardian ad litem program is hosting the two online Information webinars at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. April 30. If you are interested in learning more about the guardian ad litem program please register by contacting Diana.Gisonni@gal.fl.gov  or by calling (352) 812-6971.

Guardian Ad Litem | Child Abuse | Child Neglect | Volunteer | Social Services | Tampabay News | News Tampa

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