Vanessa Byerly tapped as Guardian ad Litem Director for 4th Judicial Circuit

[Tallahassee, Florida] – The Florida Guardian ad Litem Program on Tuesday announced the appointment of Vanessa Byerly as Circuit Director for the 4th Judicial Circuit, which serves Clay, Duval and Nassau counties.

Byerly, who has ten years of experience in child welfare programs serving Northeast Florida, will lead a staff of 40 and more than 400 volunteers in advocating for the best interests of abused, abandoned and neglected children.

She comes to GAL from Kids First of Florida in Clay County, where she began her career as a case manager in 2007 and worked her way up to program director, responsible for 24 case managers and supervisors.

“Vanessa’s experience in obtaining services for children and families will be invaluable to our program,” said GAL Executive Director Alan Abramowitz. “She has a history of building strong relationships and professional goodwill.”

For her part, Byerly is excited about moving from case management, with its focus on strengthening families in the state dependency system, to “focusing on the child, which is the most important thing,” she said. “That’s the one thing that truly matters.”

Christine Meyer, GAL’s Supervising Attorney for the 4th Circuit, called Byerly “a passionate advocate for the children we represent.”

Byerly grew up in Tampa and moved to Jacksonville to attend the University of North Florida, where she majored in criminal justice and minored in psychology. Her husband, Alan, is a firefighter with the U.S Department of Defense at Naval Station Mayport, and they have a one-year old French bulldog named Bruno.

To learn more about the Guardian ad Litem Program, visit or call 1-866-341-1GAL. In Jacksonville, call (904) 255-8440.