It’s our duty to open our hearts to children in need | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | June 11, 2016 5:00 am
Last Updated: June 8, 2016 at 2:36 pm
While training to become a volunteer with the Cass Elias McCarter Guardian ad Litem Program, Ron Goff learned about the crucial need for child advocates in Colleton County.
Guardians ad Litem are community volunteers who are court appointed to child abuse and neglect cases, and serve as children’s voices in the Family Court system. Goff believes “No child should have to grow up in foster care, but as long as the need remains, it is our duty as Christians to demonstrate the gift of love, not just talk about it, and open our hearts to children in need.”
Goff, a naval veteran and outreach minister, brings a diverse background to the program. To learn more about the children, he meets with them monthly and interviews family, case workers, teachers, counselors and community members who are involved in the child’s life.
“By giving testimony in court, based upon interviews with those closely involved in cases, and being a voice for the children involved, you can change the outcome of a case,” said Goff.
In his first year as a volunteer, Goff has advocated for 10 Colleton County children. He says that his proudest moments in the program have been seeing families reunited. “Sometimes it does take a community to raise a child, and a little time and love goes a long way,” said Goff.
Volunteer Guardians ad Litem must be at least 21 years old, and be able to pass background and reference checks. The required initial 30-hour training is free and provides valuable information about child abuse and neglect in the community, along with resources available to help children and families in need.
In Colleton County, summer trainings start soon, and flexible schedules are available.
To register or learn more about training, future training dates, and how you may make a difference in the life of a child, contact Colleton County Coordinator Holly Cavanaugh, for the Cass Elias McCarter Guardian ad Litem Program, at 843-549-6580 or visit our website at www.scgal.org.