The Cass Elias McCarter Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Program is recognizing the contribution senior citizen volunteers provide for the program. In honor of National Senior Citizens Day August 21, GAL salutes the senior citizens who serve as child advocates.

More than 44 percent of GAL’s volunteer pool consists of volunteers age 60 or older.

The GAL Program works with children who are involved with the Family Court system because of abuse or neglect. Pairing a child with an individual who can offer an empowering outlook on life increases the chances of a positive outcome for the child. Senior citizen volunteers share a lifetime of experience. Life experiences allow a senior volunteer to offer a younger generation wisdom, attention and companionship.

People interested in getting involved in child advocacy can contact the GAL Program in Lexington County and sign up for training. The program offers 30 hours of free training to potential volunteers. The free training teaches about the Family Court system, how to recognize abuse and neglect, and how to communicate with children, foster parents and others involved with child welfare. Once a volunteer is assigned to a case, they meet with the child a minimum of once a month.

For more information about training and how to become a GAL volunteer, visit gal.sc.gov or call 803-957-6484.