Mary K. Wimsett
March 16, 2011
Today’s Gainesville Sun contains an article on the 8th Judicial Circuit’s Guardian ad Litem Program (“GAL”). The article focuses on Kathy Donavan, the Program’s Assistant Circuit Director, who is an incredible asset to GAL and Florida. Kathy, like the hundreds of other GAL employees across the state, advocates for the best interest of children in dependency court. The GAL Program team consists of an attorney, a case coordinator/volunteer supervisor and a volunteer. The volunteers are the heart of the Program as they are the eyes and ears of the child.
As a former GAL attorney, I can attest without reservation that the GAL volunteer makes a significant and positive impact on the child they represent. There are not many volunteer opportunities that afford this opportunity. The GAL Program will be even more important and necessary if Governor Scott’s dramatic cuts to the Department of Children and Families are passed.