A Voice for the Children
Bacot & Padgett, LLC supports the Guardian ad litem Progam. Adam Bacot serves as a board member for the Voice of the Children Foundation. This Foundation focuses on assisting children in Abbeville and Greenwood Counties that have been forced into foster care.
GAL volunteers get to know the child and everyone involved in the child’s life, including family, teachers, doctors, social workers, and others. They gather information about the child and what the child needs. Their reports and suggestions to the court help the judge make an informed decision about a child’s future. GAL volunteers provide a stable presence in a child’s life, remaining on each case until the child finds a safe, permanent home.
GAL volunteers are people like you. Some volunteers work full time, some are retired, some are students, some are teachers, some are grandparents; but they are all extraordinary people who want to make the voices of abused and neglected children heard.
In South Carolina, children do not normally go to court. That means that children are not present when decisions about whether or not they return home, or other decisions about their futures are being made. GAL volunteers bridge that gap and tell the judge what the child wants and what is best for the child, without having to traumatize them in a courtroom setting.
GAL volunteers help the voices of abused and neglected children be heard. The benefits that a volunteer provides a foster child have been well documented. A 2006 audit conducted by the US Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General demonstrates that once a volunteer is assigned, approximately:
• 95% of children do not languish in long term foster care.
• 90% of children never re-enter the child welfare system.