Michelle Taylor of Cheraw has been sworn in as a guardian ad litem volunteer — a court-appointed special advocate for abused and neglected children. The Honorable Salley H. McIntyre administered Taylor’s oath of office on May 21.
This newly appointed guardian ad litem joins other community members who have been trained and are advocating for foster children in the Family Court system. As officers of the court, they ensure that the children’s needs are recognized and best interests are considered both in the courtroom and in the community.
GAL volunteers are asked to meet with the child regularly and are authorized to interview people in the child’s life such as social workers, attorneys and teachers. They attend court hearings with the child and report their findings to the judge.
There are no prerequisites for becoming a GAL volunteer other than being at least 21 years of age, clearing an extensive background screening and successfully completing training.
The next advocate training session for Chesterfield County starts in July. Those interested in becoming the voice of a child as a GAL volunteer can contact Jennifer Burch at the Chesterfield County office by calling 843-623-5630.
Prospective volunteers can also get more information and download an application at www.Chesterfield.scgal.org.