Action Alert: Urge Governor DeSantis to
Keep the Child Representation Pilot Program
in this Year’s Budget
How you can help: 

1.   Call the Governor's office and ask him to support the Child Representation Pilot Project. Call 850-717-9249 (press 1)

2.   Identify yourself with your name and city or county. If you want to add your role in the child welfare area, you can.

3.   Thank the Governor for everything he did for foster children this year.
[You don’t need to list any specifics. But if you aren’t familiar with them, see below!]
4.   Encourage him to do one more thing to support foster children – keep the Child Representation Pilot in the budget.
You do not have to give a reason, but if you want to here are some to choose from:
  • Florida is a national leader in so many ways to help foster children, but not giving them their own attorney is the one area where we lag behind other states – the Pilot will help us head in the right direction.
  • Children in foster care deserve the best. This funding will provide children in foster care with a lawyer in addition to the volunteer Guardian ad Litem that they already get.
  • Children are the only party in a dependency case who don’t have a lawyer – and since the whole purpose of the court case is about what is best for children, it makes sense for them to have both their own lawyer and a guardian ad litem.

End your call
Note: This is NOT an Attack on the Guardian ad Litem Program
You don’t need to mention the GAL at all. If you want to mention the GAL you can note:
  • The Child Representation Pilot Does Not Negatively Impact the Guardian ad Litem Program.
  • The Pilot does not impact the GAL Program’s budget.
  • All children in the Pilot will get both a guardian ad litem and a lawyer.

The Governor recently signed several laws that will bring big benefits for children in the child welfare system, they include laws that:
  • Increase board payments for relatives and nonrelatives to the same as licensed foster parents
  • Increase Postsecondary Education Services and Supports (living stipend) for young adults in college from $1,256 to $1,720
  • Expand tuition exemption to youth in guardianships and some who were reunified
  • Provide subsidy so caregivers can send young children to high quality childcare
  • Increased funds to Community Based Care agencies to better serve children