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April Proclaimed Child Advocate Month
News imageRALEIGH For the fourth consecutive year, Gov. Bev Perdue proclaimed April as North Carolina Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Child Advocate Month.

The proclamation recognizes the Guardian ad Litem Program's "distinguished record of public service through its work to enhance the quality of life for children." The Guardian ad Litem Program, a division of the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC), trains volunteer advocates to represent and promote the best interests of abused, neglected, and dependent children in the state court system. Volunteer advocates work with an attorney to form a plan that ensures these children are placed in a safe, permanent home.

While appreciating advocates who have donated more than 987,000 hours of service during 2011 to children in all 100 counties, the establishment of Child Advocate Month also highlights the $21 million dollars these volunteers saved the state last year as they, in the proclamation's words, helped "improve the quality of information presented to the court" and act as "the court's eyes and ears in the child's life."

The proclamation also serves as a reminder of the immense need for more volunteer court advocates throughout the state. In 2011, 5,145 advocates, along with approximately 160 attorneys, served 15,291 children in North Carolina. However, more volunteers are needed to ensure that every child has someone to speak on his/her behalf.

"Our volunteers are diverse in experience, education, gender, age, and ethnicity, but they are alike in one significant way," said Cindy Bizzell, GAL state administrator. "They share a passion for improving the lives of the children and youth in their communities. I encourage you to add your voice to theirs by contacting your local GAL program to learn about volunteer opportunities."

The GAL program thrives on volunteerism, and the vital work of the program is only made possible by dedicated volunteers who are committed to the cause of keeping children safe from future harm. To rise to the challenge and become a GAL volunteer advocate, visit www.ncgal.org, call 1-800-982-4041, or go to
www.facebook.com/ncGuardianAdLitem.

About North Carolina Guardian ad Litem
Established in 1983, the North Carolina Guardian ad Litem program provides trained, independent advocates to represent and promote the best interests of abused, neglected, and dependent children in the state court system. Guardian ad Litem is a partner with the National CASA Association.

For more information, visit www.ncgal.org, www.facebook.com/ncguardianadlitem, or call 1-800-982-4041.
Publish Date: 04/04/2012
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