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Volunteers needed to speak up for children

The Guardian Ad Litem Program is looking for volunteers to speak up for the more than 1-million children across America that are abused and/or neglected, according to Elaine Quinlan, community liaison with the Guardian Ad Litem Program in Pasco and Pinellas counties. A common thread that ties these children together is their entrance into the legal system. Through the efforts of volunteers, and the assistance of pro bono lawyers, children's rights and their best interests are represented.

Volunteers will serve as spokespersons, monitors, reporters, and protectors for children who need a voice in court. No legal experience is needed and a training program is provided.

Volunteers are assigned a case, or several cases if they desire. After becoming thoroughly familiar with each case and the parties involved, they offer recommendations to the court as to what is in the best interest of the child or children involved in each case.

Jill Hindman is the area coordinator for East Pasco County and the office is in the Dade City courthouse at 705 E Live Oak Ave. You can reach Jill at (904) 521-4178.

The area coordinator for West Pasco County is Marcia Tyler and the office is at 7530 Little Road in New Port Richey. Her number is (813) 847-8170.