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Lawyers v. Guardians ad Litem: What is Best For a Foster Child in Florida Dependency Court?

What is the difference — if any — when a guardian ad litem investigates and advocates for a child in Florida dependency court, and an attorney who does so?

The Florida Bar’s Legislation Committee last month explored this issue — and a recommended Bar legislative position from the Legal Needs of Children Committee that suggested state funding for lawyers to represent select children in dependency courts.

After testimony from some involved, including judges and a former foster child, the committee recommended the proposal on a 5-1 vote.

It’s an important issue, said supporter Howard Talenfeld, chair of the Legal Needs of Children Committee. If the Legislature approves the measure, time spent by children in foster care could be reduced.

“Foster care is like being in the ocean,” Talenfeld was quoted in the Florida Bar News. “The longer children are there, the better the chance they’ll drown.” Read the Florida Bar News article here…

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