[Tallahassee, Florida] – Alan Abramowitz, Executive Director of the Statewide Guardian ad Litem office, announced today that the Florida Guardian ad Litem(GAL) Program will receive a 2016 National Court Appointed Special Advocate (National CASA) Association State Growth Grant in the amount of $250,000.The purpose of the 2016 National CASA Association State Growth Grant is to support statewide initiatives to significantly increase the number of CASA/GAL volunteers who advocate for Florida’s abused and neglected children in the foster care system that have experienced abuse or neglect. National CASA’s vision is that every abused or neglected child is given the opportunity to thrive in a safe and loving home and this investment in Florida’s program helps to move closer to that vision.
With the National CASA State Growth Grant, the Florida GAL Program will relaunch the “I am for the Child” campaign – statewide; in each of its twenty local programs; in every community; and in every city. “Over the past nine months we have worked very closely with the National CASA Association in preparing the Florida GAL Program for the relaunch of the “I am for the Child” campaign. The simple yet powerful statement – I am for the Child – supports the mission of the Florida GAL Program and informs everything we do. We look forward to more volunteers joining us in our efforts to be a voice for all of Florida’s abused and neglected children. We are grateful to National CASA for this incredible opportunity to share our mutual vision in a coordinated way across the state,” said Alan Abramowitz.“Volunteer Florida congratulates Florida Guardian ad Litem for securing this grant to serve more at-risk young people in Florida,” said Chester W. Spellman, CEO of Volunteer Florida. “We look forward to working with GAL to encourage Floridians to volunteer with GAL and demonstrate that our state is ‘For the Child.’”In 2011, National CASA launched the “I am for the Child” campaign with print, web and social media. Through materials and support from National CASA, states across the nation supported and promoted the “I am for the Child” campaign to grow their volunteer base and expand their services to more of America’s most vulnerable children. Florida, via its statewide program and its twenty local programs, also embraced the campaign that resulted in substantial volunteer growth. That growth has continued over the last four years. In fact, the Florida Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Program has over 10,000 volunteers giving a voice to Florida’s abused and neglected children.“The Florida GAL Program’s track record of growth and plan to serve more children with the “I am for the Child” campaign made them a clear choice for National CASA’s largest grant award,” said National CASA Chief Executive Officer Tara Perry. “The continuous growth of our volunteer base is a critical element of National CASA’s goal to serve every child in foster care or court system who has experienced abuse or neglect nationwide. Florida is a strong partner in our work to ensure that every one of these children has a trained and caring volunteer advocating on his or her behalf rather than going it alone in the system.”To learn more about the Guardian ad Litem Program or to become a volunteer visit www.GuardianadLitem.org or call 1-866-341-1GAL.
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