Provide a voice for children
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person; he believed in me.” – Jim Valvano
For many, Father’s Day is the perfect time to thank the father figures in our lives for helping raise and guide us, and for providing wisdom in our times of need. They have provided a hand to hold, a listening ear, or a word of advice, all while overlooking the river and waiting for the fish to bite.
But for many, there is no influential male in their lives. In more than half of the child abuse and neglect cases in Brevard County, there is no father figure. The man who should be preparing his children for life and encouraging them to dream big is missing, jailed, abusive or neglectful. There are hundreds of children in Dependency court, through no fault of their own, with no fathers to guide them or believe in them. The hole their absence leaves is enormous.
According to the National Center for Fathering and other supporting websites, children from fatherless homes are more likely to grow up poor, drop out of school and abuse themselves as well as those they are in a relationship with. They are more likely to become substance abusers, and they commit more crimes. (fathers.com/statistics-and-research/the-consequences-of-fatherlessness)
The reality for many children in the Dependency system is that adults can only be trusted to hurt and ignore and leave. Imagine growing into adulthood with that view as your only reality. Imagine trying to transition into a productive, successful adult life with nothing but survival skills. It’s impossible. These kids are destined to repeat the same pattern they were taught. Until someone breaks the cycle. You have that power.
You don’t have to be a child’s father to be a driving, positive influence in his or her life. Fatherless children need a voice, and Father’s Day is the perfect time for outstanding men in our community to make a difference. You have the ability to increase a child’s chances of doing better in school, staying away from drugs and creating healthy, long-lasting relationships.
While the statistics are staggering, hope is not lost. Be the voice of a child in their time of need. Be a mentor and a role model, while working as a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem. In just 10 hours a month, you could truly change the life of a child. A simple visit, a recommendation, a watchful eye in a court case can go a long way in improving the life of a little girl or boy. Your care and attention to their lives is what transforms them. Our program offers free training, mentor and manager support, and the guidance of our professional staff at all times.
Lend a hand, lend an ear and call the Guardian Ad Litem Program in Brevard County at 321-690-6823 to find out more or go to brevardcounty.us/guardianadlitem.