Monday, January 13, 2014

Guardian ad Litem volunteers sought to help in abuse cases

The growing number of child abuse and neglect cases in the Upstate is driving a need for more Guardian ad Litem volunteers.

Last year, 768 families, for a total of 1,494 children, were served by Guardian ad Litem program in the Greenville area alone, said Wendi Rodgers, a public awareness specialist and trainer for Guardian ad Litem (GAL).

The program saw 399 new cases here last year, she said.

“With the amount of cases coming in, it’s hard to keep up with having enough volunteers to serve each case,” Rodgers said.

GAL volunteers speak on behalf of children in the family court system and foster care.

“When cases are brought into family court, people are focusing on the parents and what needs to be done for them to get their children back,” Rodgers said. “Sometimes the children are left out there without a voice. That’s where we step in.”

At least 100 of volunteers are needed in Greenville County to help ease the case loads being carried by other volunteers, said.

“We appreciate the work that they do, but we never want to overload a volunteer though they do it out of the compassion of their hearts and a desire to serve children,” Rodgers said. “We don’t want to burn anyone out. That’s why we’re asking the community to step up, even if you have a just slight concern for children.”

Full Article and Source:
Guardian ad Litem volunteers sought to help in abuse cases

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