Robert Schoffel was recently recognized as Volunteer of the Year at the annual Guardian ad Litem Volunteer Appreciation Event for his outstanding commitment to ensuring our youngest community members have someone advocating for their best interests.
The Guardian ad Litem Volunteer Appreciation awards celebrate our volunteers whose influence and leadership skills have made a difference in the quality of life for our children.
Robert has been serving as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem since 2016. In the past year and a half, he has been assigned (and is still active on) four cases with a total of 16 children, all in multiple placements throughout the County. Robert meets with each child individually at least once a month, attends multi-disciplinary staffings, arranges sibling visits and parent-child visits, attends court hearings, and is actively involved in the children’s personal interests.
At least once a quarter, we host Dream BIG Days and Robert has brought the children to our MeowSpectacular at the Humane Society, Back-to-School Shopping Spree, Back-to-School Extravaganza, Fall Festival, and Cirque du Soliel Volta. He doesn’t just attend these events, but actively participants in the full amount of time and interacts with the children and other attendees.
Robert’s devotion and commitment to our program does not just end with his cases. He is a mentor for new volunteer Guardians ad Litem. He meets with the new volunteer Guardian ad Litem to review procedures, how to engage on the case, attends home visits, and court hearings. He works with the new Guardian ad Litem until they feel comfortable. Court can be intimidating for a new volunteer and Robert is attentive and knowledgeable, which instills a confidence in new volunteers to effectively advocate for the children.
We are so privileged to have Robert as a part of our program and it was an honor to recognize him as Volunteer of the Year. Click the above video to view his acceptance speech.
About Voices for Children of Broward County
Voices for Children of Broward County’s (“Voices”) mission is to ensure that every abused, neglected and abandoned child in Broward County has a court-appointed Guardian ad Litem and that financial resources are available for each child’s accompanying health, educational, and social needs. To accomplish this mission, Voices collaborates with the 17th Judicial Circuit Dependency Court Division and the Guardian ad Litem Program to serve children who have an open and active dependency court case to meet each of their essential needs during this transitional period and to give them a voice throughout the entire court proceedings by working with the appointed volunteer Guardian ad Litem. Our programs provide these children with someone who makes them feel normal, safe, and cared about and removes barriers so these children can have a happy, normal childhood.