Children First

Voices For Children works in collaboration with the Guardian Ad Litem Program (GAL) to improve the lives of children in foster care with a highly-effective multipronged approach.
Text by Sandy Lindsey | September 26, 2018 | Lifestyle

A Guardian Ad Litem is a trained volunteer appointed by the court to protect and advocate for the best interest of the children involved in court proceedings. In addition to child advocacy, Voices For Children raises funds for its Children’s Needs Program, which supplements insufficient state and federal entitlements and addresses such basic needs such as food, clothing, rent/utility assistance, furniture, transportation, tutoring, afterschool care, etc. and the Independent Living Project for dependent youth including a specialized program for the growing number of human trafficking victims.

What’s more, funds raised last year for the Children’s Needs Program provided over 1,500 children with direct financial assistance for food and clothing, educational expenses, summer camp and other social enrichment programs. And the efforts don’t stop there. They continue to provide long-term success for former foster children with the It Takes A Village College Scholarship Program. Last year, they celebrated a 10-year record high of 82% Guardian Ad Litem representation and this year they are up to 91% representation; with 84% of all dependent children and youth represented having achieved permanency through a reunification with biological parents, post treatment/services, adoption, legal permanent guardianship, independent living or had their cases closed in a safe and stable environment.

Three signature events highlight their fundraising efforts. The first of those is the Be A Voice Gala that will be held on Jan. 19, 2019. For the past 22 years, the gala has gathered nearly 500 of Miami’s most philanthropic and influential individuals. There is also the Annual Be A Voice Luncheon which will take place on Oct. 19, and Party For A Cause, which occurs each April. Their children-centered experiences include the highly anticipated Back-To-School Event and the Holiday Toy Drive that ensures that the children in the dependency system receive a gift during the holiday season;