Thousands of abused, neglected and abandoned children from every state in the U.S. go to court everyday with no one to stand up for them. The Guardian ad Litem program trains people to be an officer of the court to represent the best interest of a minor in court who have no one else to stand up for them.
There are many great reasons for becoming a Guardian ad Litem. Imagine, you’re a child with no family to speak of, confused and afraid, and you’re expected to represent yourself in a strange court because there is no one else in the world to stand up for you. These children are in court because a petition had been filed stating they were abused, neglected or abandoned. Often, they are forced to go it alone in court as a child with no knowledge of the court system, nervously answering questions that are thrown at them solely because they are victims of abuse. Why should you volunteer to become a Guardian ad Litem? I will borrow a quote from a 12-year old Zulu boy who later died of AIDS, “Do all you can with what you have, in the time you have, in the place you are” (Quotes, 2007).
For the second reason, I will borrow another quote, one from John Ruskin who stated, “The highest reward for a person’s work is not what they get for it, but what they become because of it” (Quotes, 2007). I feel we all should be volunteering in at least one area, doing something without pay that will be a character-building experience in our own lives. One can never know what doors of their heart, mind and character can open up as a Guardian ad Litem volunteer. Becoming a Guardian ad Litem volunteer allows one to greater connect to their humanness in this world.
Lastly, becoming a Guardian ad Litem would be a great way an outsider can learn about legal proceedings for free and it would be great training and look good on anyone’s resume considering the legal field as their profession. Any free training in the legal field could be beneficial to anyone. A Guardian ad Litem receives several hours of training prior to being able to represent a youth along with learning that takes place in the court and one-on-one with the “client.” This training and education become invaluable and like experiences in general, will often open up other doors for the Guardian ad Litem.
There are many great reasons for one to consider becoming a Guardian ad Litem. To stand up in court to represent a child, to enlarge one’s own life by volunteering, and for free experience and training in the legal field are just a few of the many reasons one might consider becoming a Guardian ad Litem. Volunteer today and let me know your reason!
(2004). About Us. Retrieved April 3, 2007, from Florida Guardian ad Litem Web site:
(2007,March 17). Quotes. Retrieved April 4, 2007, from Energize: Especially for Leaders
of Volunteers Web site: http://www.energizeinc.om
Volland, Jane (2004, July 22). Guardian ad Litem – A Child’s Advocate in Court.
Retrieved April 3, 2007, from The North Carolina Court System Web site: