In Citrus County, more than 300 children that are abused, abandoned and neglected are in the child welfare system, most of which are 10 years of age and younger.
Their fate has been turned over to the state. They now depend on lawyers, judges, social workers and foster parents to make sure they are safe, protected and provided the services necessary to overcome their circumstances.
Children in foster care exhibit higher rates of mental illness, school failure and involvement with the criminal justice system. Due to the lack of proper parenting and adult role modeling, their ability to cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life is typically compromised.
The Guardian ad Litem Program, a largely volunteer based organization, that advocates for the safety and well-being of abused and neglected children, gives lay citizens the power and authority to make a difference. By assigning a trained volunteer to each child, it guarantees a higher level of protection and oversight and ensures decision-makers are focused on the child.
Regrettably, due to the lack of volunteers, not all of “our” children are provided this safety net. They must rely on “the system” for help.
If you are interested in making this cause, your cause, become a Guardian ad Litem volunteer. Contact Diana Gisonni – 352-812-6971 or by email – firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about the Guardian ad Litem Program or to request an application, visit www.guardianadlitem.org.