What We Need
It is the policy of the Third District Guardian ad Litem program to represent every child in protective care in the Third Judicial District of Idaho. However, because we have an insufficient number of Guardians, or staff to support those Guardians at this time, we have established a Triage Plan detailing general guidelines to evaluate the cases coming into care.
The Third District Guardian ad Litem Program believes that each child presents a unique need of advocacy that cannot be based on any one factor alone. It is our policy to evaluate the level of advocacy based on the protective factors (or lack thereof), stability, and severity of need detailed in the Triage Plan, in conjunction with availability of Guardians.
It is the goal of the Third District Guardian ad Litem Program to garner enough community support in the form of volunteers as well as financial sponsorship’s and donations to support those volunteers. In order to serve all of the cases in the Third judicial District would need six paid Advocate Coordinators to oversee the 200 volunteer Guardians, as compared to our current two Advocate Coordinators and 50 volunteers. In order to garner that kind of community support we need to be out in the community describing the needs of these vulnerable children and what the Third District Guardian ad Litem Program does. We need access to the community in the form of speaking engagements, events, and booths. Word of mouth is one of our most important recruiting tools, the more people who hear our message, the more likely it is we will receive the support necessary to advocate for all children in Protective Custody in the Third Judicial District. This kind of initiative also requires funding for staff positions, event registrations, Chambers of Commerce memberships, and more.
In fiscal year 2017, the Third District Guardian ad Litem Program served 664 cases – over 1,000 children. In 2018, the number of children who come into care is expected to grow exponentially. With our Volunteers numbering just over fifty, difficult sacrifices have been made on how many children we can represent and it’s those children who pay the price for our lack of resources. We’ve had to stop representing older children and choose which cases will receive a Volunteer Guardian based on the age of the children and the severity of the case.
In order to raise awareness and recruit Volunteers, we need to make ourselves available to the public with informative forums, presentations, booths, and event attendance. Sponsors can potentially help every neglected and abused child in protective care gain representation by financing our advertising campaign, sponsoring a booth or event, or even sponsoring a full-time staff position.
One paid Advocate Coordinator can support 30 volunteers, who in turn can serve on 75 cases and over 100 children.
Donors can also play their part in providing more up-to-date and effective office equipment and supplies, toys and goodies for kids in our care, money to finance our recruiting initiative.
Our program is a 501(c) nonprofit organization, and all donations to this organization are tax deductible.
We are currently raising $14,000 to fully finance our program during this fiscal year.
Our program is happy to accept both monetary and in-kind donations.
Without support from our community, our program can’t exist. Because of caring members of our community the Third District Guardian ad Litem program is able to represent more children, reach the rural communities, and accept more volunteers.
The Third District Guardian ad Litem Program would like to thank the organizations who have supported us thus far:
Caldwell Lions Club
Weiser Lions Club
Kappa Alpha Theta (College of Idaho)
If you would like to donate to abused children in Idaho by helping provide them with a guardian voice in the dependency court system, please click here.
Learn more about Volunteering Today.