Sunday, May 14 is Mother’s Day. For most of us, it’s a day to honor, celebrate, and thank our moms for their unconditional love, selflessness and guidance. It’s a time to acknowledge that were if not for them, we wouldn’t have survived our childhoods or teen years as well as we did, or acquired the skills and self-confidence necessary to achieve success and overcome the rough times that are ever-present in adulthood. Serve as a mother figure to a child who longs for a similar experience.
Regrettably, for many children who are victims of child abuse and neglect, Mother’s Day is anything but a reason to celebrate. It’s a day that prompts painful memories and haunting “what ifs.” It’s a day that poses difficult questions such as, “Why did Mom choose drugs, alcohol or an abusive paramour over me?”
Right now, in Hernando and Citrus Counties, over 800 children are involved with the child welfare and judicial systems. Most of these children are younger than eight years of age. Due to their circumstances, they’ve been removed from their homes, neighborhoods, schools and friends. They’re living with relatives or willing strangers.
The Guardian ad Litem Program is a state and county funded organization that relies on trained volunteers to help these children cope with their difficult and challenging situations. Under the supervision of a Child Advocacy Manager and an attorney, the volunteer advocates for the child’s best interests in court. They assist the child through the ups and downs of the process and see that no one forgets that behind that case number is a child who longs for a capable, loving mom and stable home life.
Persons interested in becoming a volunteer may call Diana Hollwedel at (352) 812-6971 or email her at [email protected] to schedule an interview. To find out more information about the Guardian ad Litem program, visit our website at www.guardianadlitem5.org
This year as you celebrate your mom, do so in a manner that will make a lasting difference in the life of a child. Volunteer with the Guardian ad Litem Program.