The Guardian ad Litem(GAL) program recruits, trains, and supervises a group of 150+ community volunteers paired with attorneys to act as court advocates for abused and neglected children in our community. The program's purpose is to ensure that children involved with the Buncombe County Department of Social Services have an advocate in court who is focused solely on their best interest and can help provide an objective overview of their wishes and needs to the court.
A Guest Post by The Guardian ad Litem Program
After over 100 years in the Buncombe County community, we know there is no shortage of individuals, businesses, and organizations that truly care about the well-being of our community.
United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County is honored to work directly with over 150+ organizations providing a wide variety of services throughout the county. As we move into our next 100 years in Buncombe Co, we want to focus on our United For Youth initiative(which you can learn more about HERE) and uplift community members and organizations working to improve the lives of Buncombe county’s youth.
Recently Guardian ad Litem took the time to share some of the vital work they are doing within the Buncombe County courts.
The program currently advocates for approximately 400 children involved with DSS in Buncombe County.
There is considerable overlap between the missions of United Way and the Guardian ad Litem program. While our specific focus areas may differ, both programs see community as the key to the success and growth of children whether through advocacy in court or in the classroom.
Abused and neglected children in our community need a voice and we believe community advocacy is essential to building a stronger community free of abuse and neglect. Guardians ad Litems are often the most consistent person in a child's life while they are in foster care as placements, schools, friends, and others change
Research shows that the support of a caring, consistent adult can act as a protective factor for children who've experienced trauma and help them become happy, healthy adults.
At Guardian ad Litem, we value partnering with organizations like UWABC because we believe that children are the future, and the success of our children reflects the success of our community as a whole. UWABC helps connect organizations like ours to volunteers and other community stakeholders so that this vital community work can take place and we deeply appreciate that bridge.