Giv­ing fos­ter chil­dren a voice

The Palm Beach Post - Neighborhood Post - Central Palm Beach County - - Front Page - Con­trib­uted

What does Speak Up for Kids do?

Speak Up for Kid’s goal i s to sup­port the Guardian ad Litem pro­gram to pro­vide all abused, aban­doned or ne­glec ted chil­dren in Palm Beach Count y ’s de­pen­denc y sys­tem with a court-ap­pointed vol­un­teer that ad­vo­cates for their best in­ter­ests. This helps en­sure that chil­dren do not get lost in an over­bur­dened le­gal and so­cial ser­vice sys­tem.

How does your agency ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity?

Our agenc y ben­e­fits the com­mu­nity as it pro­vides lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions the op­por­tu­nity to be part of a pos­i­tive change in a child’s life. We as­sist chil­dren dur­ing the most cru­cial de­vel­op­men­tal years of their lives, which drives them t o b e c o me con­tribut­ing mem­bers to the com­mu­nity by b re a king the neg­a­tive cy­cles and cre­at­ing ones that are more pos­i­tive. Our agency also ben­e­fits the com­mu­nity as we pro­vide mem­bers with the op­por­tu­nity to vol­un­teer and be a voice for these vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren. Re­search has proven that our pro­gram has con­tin­u­ous pos­i­tive ef­fects such as find­ing safe and per­ma­nent homes, al­low­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion in ex­trac urr i c ul ar ac t ivi t i e s and im­proved aca­demics and be­hav­ior for these chil­dren.

What is your agency’s fo­cus for the fu­ture?

To r e a c h 1 0 0 p e r c e n t ad­vo­cacy for all abused and ne­glected chil­dren in the Palm Beach County De­pen­dency Sys­tem.

How can the com­mu­nity help?

Com­mu­nity mem­bers can help by self­lessly de­vot­ing their time, pa­tience and ten­der­ness to these vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren. Be­come a Guardian ad Litem vol­un­teer at galpbc.org; help pro­vide re­sources by mak­ing a mon­e­tary dona­tion at bit. ly/cham­pi­on4SUFK; donate gift cards of any de­nom­i­na­tion; or vol­un­teer time to help with fundrais­ing, out­reach, PR or gen­eral of­fice help.

Coleen LaCosta

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