Guardian ad Litem volunteers needed in Polk County

Published 12:47 pm Monday, March 11, 2024

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Guardian ad Litem volunteers are needed in Polk County. What is a Guardian ad Litem (GAL)? A GAL is a trained community member appointed by a district court judge to investigate and determine the needs of abused and neglected children petitioned into the court system by the local Department of Social Services. 

The GAL is paired with an Attorney Advocate to represent the child’s best interest in court. GAL staff are responsible for recruiting, training and providing ongoing support and guidance to the volunteers. 

GAL volunteers are a diverse group of concerned and committed community members. They have all undergone an application, screening and pre-service training process. Most are committed to ongoing continuing education as well to keep their skills sharp and knowledge up to date. In general, GAL volunteers possess a sincere concern for the well‐being of children and a commitment to advocate for a child until a safe and permanent home is established and court involvement is no longer required. They also have the ability to be objective and nonjudgmental, the ability to interact respectfully with people from diverse backgrounds and good verbal and written communication skills.  

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The Polk County Guardian Ad Litem program currently works with 46 children. Most of those children have a volunteer who is their voice in court. However, a few still do not have a volunteer speaking for them in court proceedings. The goal of the program is to have a volunteer assigned to every child in our program. 

Please consider volunteering with Guardian ad Litem. To learn more and apply, visit or call 828-694-4215 (for Polk County). The next pre-service training is planned for May 2024.


Submitted by Kevin P. Blackwell