The Cass Elias McCarter Guardian ad Litem Program, a division of the South Carolina Department of Children’s Advocacy, is offering free online training to those interested in becoming a volunteer Guardian ad Litem (GAL) in LaurensCounty. GALs advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children who are involved in family court legal proceedings through the Department of Social Services (DSS). There are only two training sessions left for 2023, beginning on October 17, 2023, and November 6, 2023. There is no better time than right now to become a volunteer. Both morning and evening virtual sessions are available to help accommodate volunteers’ busy schedules.
Volunteers should be at least 21 years old, have a clean criminal record, no previous DSS case history, and be able to contribute four to five hours a month of your time for a child.
Currently the Laurens County GAL Program is serving 219 children, but there are only 25volunteer GALs to assist. While GAL staff fill in the gaps, the need for more volunteers is urgent. “We’re always looking for dedicated individuals who are passionate about advocating for children,” says LaDara Depugh, Director of the South Carolina GAL program.
Visit gal.sc.gov for more information and to download an application. Follow @Cass Elias McCarter Guardian ad Litem Program on Facebook or contact [email protected] to be added to the newsletter for updates and local events in your area.
Contact Erin Petrella, regional recruiter and trainer for the GAL program, at (864)381-3725 or Erin.Petrella@childadvocate.sc.gov for more information.