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News Story
Updated: 04/24/2014 08:00:01AM

Volunteers empower children through Guardian ad Litem

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A display of 174 pinwheels at the DeSoto County Library represents the 174 children who were assistend in DeSoto County loast year due to abuse, neglect or abandonment.


A painting by a 4-year-old girl in the Guardian ad Litem program hangs in a volunteer's office.


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The Guardian ad Litem Program began service to the children in DeSoto County during the 1980s with two volunteers. Originally, Guardian ad Litem was a county level entity that served the interests of children during a divorce. Early in this century, it became a state program which advocates for the rights and interests of children that have entered our legal system and have been abused, neglected or abandoned.

Children may become involved in our legal system for a myriad of reasons. They are most often the unwitting victims of the poor decisions made by the adults in their lives. State legislators saw a need for volunteers with the specific mission of looking out for a child’s rights and interests. For this reason, the Guardian ad Litem program was organized to work with the judicial court system. Our local program is part of the 12th judicial circuit which includes DeSoto, Sarasota and Manatee counties.

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