Guardian ad Litem FAQ’s

Complete the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) application Form  and return it by fax to Victoria Harris at 786.469.3840, or scan and email form to victoria.harris@gal.fl.gov

A GAL is a trained, court-appointed volunteer that serves as the voice for abused and neglected children in dependency court. Supervised and supported by professional staff, volunteers conduct independent investigations to determine the facts, needs of the child and the appropriate resources to fulfill those needs.

  • Speak up for the best interests of the child
  • Gather information through regular visits with the child
  • Conduct interviews with people associated with the child, such as parents, caregivers and all social and medical service providers
  • Attend hearings on the child’s behalf
  • Make recommendations to the judge

Anyone who:

  • Possesses a strong desire to help children
  • Demonstrates good judgment and common sense
  • Exhibits good communication skills
  • Provides favorable references and consents to a background check
  • Completes 30 hours of training
  • Is at least 19 years old
  • Knowing you are making a difference in a child’s life
  • Giving something back to your community
  • Meeting new people with similar interests and values
  • Gaining valuable experience and building professional skills
  • Training sessions are 30 hours and are throughout Miami-Dade County
  • Courses include: courtroom procedure, social services, the juvenile justice system and the special needs of abused children
  • No special experience or legal background is needed
  • For a upcoming training information, please contact Victoria Harris at 786.469.38.64

  • An average of three hours per week is required in most cases
  • Guardians are asked to commit at least one year to the program, although many of our volunteers have been with us longer than that
  • Guardians are assisted by a strong team of attorneys and child advocacy coordinators
  • Staff is available to represent Guardians in court if they are unable to attend
  • Guardian volunteers are also a great source of support for each other; voluntary monthly support group meetings ensure that our volunteers stay in touch if they choose to

You can call 786.469.3864 or you can email Patricia Abaroa at victoria.harris@gal.fl.gov.  If you would like, a tour of the facility and courtroom can be arranged for you.