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The program gives foster kids a voice.  You Can Help

TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) – The foster care system can be a hard place to be for children who have been taken from their homes. However, in the midst of it all, the Guardian ad Litem program is a bright spot for many of the kids.

The program exists in counties across the Bay Area and provides children with a court-appointed volunteer. The volunteer is an advocate for the children in court, but more importantly, a friend behind the scenes.

Angel Guzman is a volunteer for Hillsborough County’s program, but his relationship with the three siblings he advocates for is extremely special to him due to the similar experiences he faced as a child.

“When I was 4 years old, my parents said ‘I don’t want him anymore,'” said Guzman. “I went six years in the foster care system and when I was ten, I was adopted.”

After his grandmother gave him a forever home, Guzman’s life took on a whole new purpose. It’s a second chance he hopes to give to other kids who are just like him.

“One person said yes to me, and I want to be that one person to the kid,” said Guzman with tears in his eyes.

Guzman has served as a volunteer advocate for the past six months. He said that having a constant person in their life, is something that foster kids don’t normally experience. He aspires to be that constant for the children.

“Many times these kids get disrupted in their homes and move to other homes,” said Guzman. “Case managers come and go, but we want to make sure we’re the same face, always there for them.”

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