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South Carolina Vulnerable Adult Guardian ad Litem Volunteer Program (SCVAGAL)

SCVAGAL logo In 2010 in South Carolina, there were over 3,000 reports received of vulnerable adults being abused, neglected or exploited. Over 500 of these reports resulted in court proceedings. The Office for the Study of Aging, in collaboration with other agencies, has developed a pilot program that will recruit volunteer Guardians ad Litem to act as an unbiased representative for vulnerable adults under Adult Protective Services custody in cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation.

SCVAGAL volunteers will receive training by the Office for the Study of Aging. After completing the training, the volunteers will be responsible for gathering information, interviewing the vulnerable adult and other involved parties and making recommendations to the court as to what is in the best interest of the vulnerable adult. The volunteers will be court appointed and will appear in court on behalf of the vulnerable adult.

Persons interested in additional information or in becoming a volunteer Guardian ad Litem should contact SCVAGAL at (803) 629-0277 or by email at SCVAGAL@mailbox.sc.edu. You may also complete the Volunteer Application and fax it to (803) 777-0246 or mail it to:

Maria Patton, Director of SCVAGAL
Office for the Study of Aging
Arnold School of Public Health
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208

Click here for volunteer resources and forms.

The official SCVAGAL Pilot Project ended in June 2013; however the Office for the Study of Aging is currently still housing the program until a more permanent home is designated. Senate Bill S. 764 designating a home and requesting funding for the SCVAGAL program has been introduced.

A final report of the SCVAGAL program has been completed and was presented to the Joint Legislative Committee on Aging on November 6, 2013. Click here to read the final report.

SCVAGAL in the News...

Maria Patton, Carol Cornman and social work intern, Megan Monts spoke on behalf of the SCVAGAL program at the Joint Legislative Committe on Aging meeting in November. The Committee was meeting to hear testimony regarding S. 764. The Assoicated Press interviewed Maria Patton and Megan Monts following their testimony to the Committee. The link to the article published on November 6, 2013 can be found here.

View SCVAGAL brochure (in PDF format).

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