Florida Guardian ad Litem Office Executive Director Alan Abramowitz named State Representative Janet Adkins as an Honorary Guardian ad Litem in recognition of her tireless advocacy in passing the Regis Little Act.
In giving the award to Representative Adkins, Executive Director Alan Abramowitz thanked her by acknowledging that “GAL volunteers do not work alone. There are many people in the community who work tirelessly for Florida’s children; their work for children is also a pursuit of the heart. The Guardian ad Litem Program has established the title of Honorary Guardian ad Litem for those select state leaders who have gone to great lengths to support the Program’s mission and goals. Janet Adkins is recognized as one of these unique leaders who has been there for children.”
This year Representative Janet Adkins became the champion for the Regis Little Act. The Regis Little Act created a process to give protection to incapacitated youth a guardian prior to aging out of foster care. As Representative Adkins stated during committee meetings for the new law, “What could be more important than protecting children with disabilities? When Regis Little died, we were left wondering if he had a guardian before he turned 18, could his life have been spared? Of course, we will never know the answer, but with the passage of the Regis Little Act to Protect Children with Special Needs, we are ensuring that children in need of a guardian have one in place before they turn 18 – giving these young adults an added protection during a very vulnerable time for them.”
Governor Rick Scott signed the Regis Little Act in June and recognized Representative Adkins’ key role in the legislation that will help provide Florida’s young men and women with disabilities the tools to succeed as they transition into adulthood.
In addition to the legislation to protect children with disabilities in foster care, Representative Adkins also sponsored the law that got rid of the “R” word. The measure replaced the words “mental retardation” with the term “intellectual disability.” Representative Adkins is a champion for all children, but the GAL Program recognizes her as an Honorary Guardian ad Litem for giving a voice to vulnerable youth as they reach adulthood through her tireless work and advocacy for the Regis Little Act to Protect Children with Special Needs.