The Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Program is extremely grateful for the dedication and support of the thousands of volunteers around the State. We realize that many of you incur a lot of travel costs each year in your efforts to take care of the children in our care. As many of you are aware, the Florida Legislature includes $321,000 in the Guardian ad Litem budget each year to reimburse volunteers for certain extraordinary travel expenses. To qualify for reimbursement, a volunteer’s travel must meet at least one of these approved criteria:
- Your trip was more than 25 miles (round trip) and related to your duties as a child advocate. Eligible trips include:
- You travel more than 25 miles to visit a child, sibling or family of a child you are appointed to represent
- You travel more than 25 miles to attend an important event in the child’s life such as a college visit, a family event, a job interview, or a relative’s funeral
- You travel more than 25 miles to attend a training session required by the Guardian ad Litem Program.
- You transport a courthouse dog to a GAL-related event where the dog will comfort or support kids;
- You travel out of state or need to fly out of state (NOTE: out of state, overnight and air travel require advance approval Statewide GAL Director of Operations);
- You volunteer 10 or more hours during the week (Saturday through Friday). GAL will only reimburse volunteers for the trips taken after the 10-hour work requirement is satisfied.
The GAL Budget Office processes all volunteer travel in accordance with current State of Florida statutes and policies established by the Florida Department of Financial Services. This means we have specific processes that must be followed for a volunteer to receive a reimbursement for his or her allowable travel expenditures. We encourage you to read through the Volunteer Travel Payment Processes and Procedures document located below. This document outlines the entire travel reimbursement process from start to finish.
Consistent with current Department of Financial Services policy, Guardian ad Litem employees and volunteers must sign up for direct deposit for all payments and reimbursements. A link to the Direct Deposit form is included below. To continue receiving travel reimbursements, you need to complete the direct deposit form and return it to the address listed on the form. It will take a couple of weeks for the Department of Financial Services to receive and set up your Direct Deposit so we urge you to take care of this as soon as possible. Once your Direct Deposit is set up, your travel payments will be made via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) directly to your bank account. Handling payment via Direct Deposit reduces check processing costs for the State and significantly decreases the amount of time it takes for you to get paid after you submit a complete, accurate reimbursement request.
Please feel free to reach out to us anytime as we welcome your feedback and suggestions about the volunteer travel reimbursement program.
Non-Employee Direct Deposit
Travel Reimbursement Form
Travel Reimbursement Form (Editable)
Volunteer Travel Supervisor Approval Form
Volunteer Travel Payment Processes and Procedures
Volunteer Verification Form