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Last year, more than 9,000 South Carolina children were abused or neglected by their own families. This number represents only those children involved in the state's Family Court system, so the actual figure is probably much higher.
As caring and concerned citizens, we must do everything in our power to protect and nurture these vulnerable children. State law requires a volunteer guardian ad litem be appointed for any child whose family is involved with the Department of Social Services through the Family Court system.
In 2010, more than 2,500 South Carolina citizen volunteers met the challenge and worked as advocates for these children. Their reasons are admirable -- they believe every child should have an adult to listen to them and help guide them to a safe and secure future.
In 1983, April was proclaimed Child Abuse Prevention Month. But 28 years later, child abuse is still a crisis in our country involving millions of children.
It is imperative that we all take responsibility to ensure each child has the opportunity to grow up in a safe, loving, and nurturing home.
One way you can help is to join more than 2,000 volunteers in South Carolina who stand up to be a child's voice as a guardian ad litem. Contact the Beaufort and Jasper county office (843-525-0779) to get involved and make a positive difference in the future of a child.
Guardian ad litem program