To the Editor,
Your recent article highlighted the skyrocketing number of child abuse and neglect cases in Surry County, noting that there are currently a record number of children in foster care in the county. Like the Department of Social Services and local foster parents, our local Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Program, which provides trained volunteer advocates for children in foster care, is also struggling to meet the demand.
GALs visit their assigned foster child on a regular basis, gather information and talk to all the important people in the child’s life, and make recommendations to the court to ensure that the child’s best interest is always the priority. Studies have shown that foster children with a GAL spend less time in foster care and have better outcomes than those who do not have a GAL.
I’ve had the privilege of volunteering as a GAL for the past 5 years and I know it makes a difference in the lives of foster children. If you can spare just a few hours per month and would like to help, please contact the Surry GAL Program at 336-386-4090 to learn more. No special background is required, training is free, and children are urgently in need of caring adults to advocate for them right now.