ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Most people know Amy Foster as a member of the St. Petersburg City Council.
But when she’s not making policy at City Hall, she’s making a difference for foster children as the executive director of the Guardian ad Litem Foundation.
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The group provides resources to train volunteers to be the voice of the foster child in court. In addition, Foster is a “Guardian” herself.
“It's where I met my adopted daughter,” Foster said, “and it is the hardest volunteer work I've ever done, but it's also the most rewarding.”
Guardian ad Litem officials were in court last April speaking for 2-year old Jordan Belliveau. Court records show his mother, Charisse Stinson filed a motion to regain custody of the boy.
A magistrate granted her motion, despite Guardian ad Litem’s objection to it.
On Tuesday, Sept. 4, Jordan’s body was of found in a wooded area in Largo. His mother is now accused of killing him.
“Anyone who works in this field and has handled a case is certainly impacted when things like this go wrong,” Foster said.
Child welfare agencies handling Jordan’s case are currently reviewing and redacting 1,200 pages of documents involving his foster care and eventual return to his mother. Officials plan to release them to the public by the middle of next week.
Meanwhile, Faster says her organization will continue speak for children.
“Every child wants to be reunified with their parent and go back home,” says Foster, “but that's not always what's in their best interest. and so we do tell the court what they want, what their expressed interest is, but our ultimate goal is to make a recommendation on what their best interest is.”