Guardian ad Litem

A Child's Advocate in Court

Thank you from Jane Volland…

Dear Guardian ad Litem Volunteers,

This has been my last day on the job, and I couldn’t leave without expressing my heartfelt appreciation to you.

I have met some of you at Outback luncheons, CASA/GAL conferences, or other Guardian ad Litem functions, and I have spoken with some of you in our telephone advisory sessions or on other occasions.  I so often have said that you are the “heart and soul” of our program.  I wish that I had the opportunity to say that personally to each of you. 

Last year over 4,900 of you gave 944,448 hours of service to the state of North Carolina, and you saved the state over $19.7 million. More important, you provided strong advocacy and gave a voice to the children you were appointed to represent.  And, you continue to be so effective in making a difference for children.  I hear from your District Administrators about the children who have been safely returned to their families or are secure in a new family with adoptive parents.  I know that sometimes you struggle with the pain of representing children who have suffered severe abuse, and sometimes you even experience the death of a child.  Even though there are the sad and even tragic cases, I hear more about the happiness you have brought to children and the success you have helped them to achieve.   

Just recently I read a message sent to a GAL volunteer from a young woman who is now enjoying her first year in college, and she proudly wrote to tell her GAL that she was on the Dean’s List.  So many of you have been the only consistent and strong support for the children we represent, and it is because of you that many of them succeed when they “age out” of the system.  It is so clear that the children you represent need your support and the dedicated advocacy that you provide with your attorney advocates. 

 I know that you spend hours investigating, writing reports and preparing for court – and you do this without pay, and sometimes the “thanks” comes years later from your child-clients.  I also know that it is sometimes a hardship to visit children, since out of county placements continue to increase and we are no longer able to reimburse you for travel expenditures.  You all contribute so much in time, energy, and other resources to advocate for your child-clients.  This is a year of serious budget deficits, and the Guardian ad Litem Program will face an uphill battle to remain strong and effective.  But, the program is mandated by state and federal law, and I am confident that with your support the battle will be won.  


In cleaning out a desk drawer today, I came across a short quote:

 Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,

But by the moments that take our breath away.                                                                                     

 Unfortunately I have no idea who the author is or where I came across the passage – but the words make me think of you and your advocacy.  I am in awe of the volunteer service you give your child-clients.  So many times in the past almost nine years, you have taken my breath away by your skill and dedication.  . 

 Thank you, and my very best wishes to you all in this New Year of 2011!


January 6, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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