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Championing Children's Voices: A Conversation with Child Advocate Rosi Alvarez

Child Advocate Rosi Alvarez describes life as a verb; her focus on action makes it easy to see why. A dedicated Guardian ad Litem for children in foster care for the last 24 years, Rosi’s commitment to volunteering began when she was just 14 while helping developmentally disabled children after hours.  

Yolanda Valencia

Becoming a mom ignited Rosi’s passion for her sons' education and deepened her commitment to her community. She served as a room parent every year until her sons graduated, ensuring a nurturing environment for their classmates.  But her impact went further.  She spearheaded the creation of the school's Parent-to-Parent Group, fostering a network of support for fellow parents.  Her vision extended beyond the school walls, as she also founded the inaugural Boy Scout Pack and Troop, shaping young lives through outdoor adventure and values.

Beyond education, Rosi's influence extended to community development. She served on the Board of Drug-Free Youth and The Miami Coalition, demonstrating her commitment to a safe environment for young people. Her leadership extended further as a founding member of the Town of Cutler Bay Incorporation Committee and appointee to the Miami Dade Municipal Advisory Committee.

In 1999, she became a certified Guardian ad Litem with Florida’s 11th Judicial Court. Throughout her 25-year tenure as a Guardian ad Litem, Rosi has advocated for the best interests of dozens of children experiencing foster care in Miami-Dade. In this role, Rosi is court appointed to advocate for the best interests of children undergoing dependency proceedings; she is supported by an office supervisor and attorney in her efforts. After building relationships with her assigned children and speaking with the adults involved in their lives, Rosi works collaboratively with the supervisor and attorney to represent the youth’s best interests in court and the community.

But Rosi's work with the local Office doesn’t end there. She is also the chairperson of the Volunteer Advisory Council, Founder and Chairperson of the Guardian-to-Guardian volunteer group (which serves as a support system for other volunteers) and serves an educational surrogate for youth who may need a caring adult to speak up for their educational needs.

Learn more about Rosi below. 

What motivated you to become a child advocate? 
Rosi: Imagine a world where every child in need has a special go-to person with legal access! The unfairness, the inequity, the heartbreak of children being removed from their family is my motivation. I can actually feel their hurt and I know my family of Guardian ad Litem caretakers feel the same way.  If it’s not fair, it won’t fare well with me. 

In your experience, what kind of impact does a Guardian ad Litem have on a child's life in foster care? 

Rosi: Deep roots grow big wings. We are the steady go-to persons the children lean on while navigating the court system. Our most rewarding day is when the children move on to their new lives with a larger wingspan because we held their hand they needed it. 

Yolanda and German Valencia

What are some of the most rewarding aspects of being a child advocate? 

Rosi: Everything about being a Guardian ad Litem is rewarding, even when we encounter sadness and frustration.  Because have access to the child and to resources, we aim as high as necessary to right the wrongs perpetrated upon them. Most importantly, we remind them that every little win, no matter how small, is a win they can build upon in the future. We give them hope. 

Speaking of hope, what message would you share with children currently experiencing foster care? 
Rosi: As a Guardian ad Litem, I would say, “You now have a best friend that will help you get things done. Lean on us, we will not let you down. We know others have hurt you, and some might do so again. We know things might not always turn out because court is sometimes different than life, but this time you will be more prepared because we are only a call away.” 

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to get involved with helping youth in the system?    
Rosi: Be a resilient fixer. Find a way and never give up. Children are counting on you.  Show them that the world is kinder than they thought. 

About Voices For Children and the Guardian ad Litem Office

Voices For Children believes that all children navigating the foster care system should have quality advocacy, access to basic and dignity items, and enriching experiences that allow them to dream beyond their circumstances. Driven by this vision, Voices For Children provides critical funding to Miami-Dade’s Guardian ad Litem Office to ensure that every child entering the system has a voice in court.

To find out how you can get involved, click here.

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LendYour Voice

You can lend your voice by donating, volunteering for our Guardians Ad Litem program, or starting a conversation in your community. We always need volunteers and donations - whatever you can do helps.

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