In North Carolina, approximately 1 out of every 100 children, or about 1% of the state’s child population, are abused or neglected.
The North Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program works with children who have been petitioned into the system and who have been appointed a Guardian ad Litem by a judge – about 18,000 children every year.
The prevention of child abuse is a mission that belongs to the community. Communities have a stake in deciding what the standard of protection and care is for children. Guardian ad Litem volunteers directly influence that standard as they speak up for abused and neglected children in court.
In addition to serving our community’s most vulnerable population, there are two things that make the North Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program an asset to communities:
A rewarding, robust volunteer opportunity
The role of the Guardian ad Litem is both rewarding and full of challenges. It requires the community citizen to be objective and creative in their advocacy. GAL volunteers frequently describe the program as the “best volunteer work” they’ve ever done and many GAL volunteers feel that they are making a real difference in children’s lives, and in the world.
An independent, unbiased voice in the courtroom
Guardian ad Litem volunteers provide an independent, unbiased voice for abused and neglected children in the courtroom. Because volunteers are unpaid, and because they focus on the child’s best interests, their position in the courtroom is unique.