by Marcia Hilty, LCSW Circuit Director, Special to Hernando Sun
On Friday, April 5, 2019, during the 5th Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program’s annual Volunteer Reception, which was held in the Villages and attended by more than 175 people from throughout the 5th Judicial Circuit, an exceptional Hernando County citizen was recognized for her 26 years of service to local abused, abandoned and neglected children.
Out of a field of more than 600 local and nearly 6,000 regional volunteers, Valerie Homer-Faggart was selected as the State of Florida’s Northern Region Volunteer of the Year. Her selection qualifies her for consideration for the Statewide Guardian ad Litem of the Year Award.
Ms. Homer-Faggart is a New York native. Having served as a child advocate in her home state, upon becoming settled here in Florida she joined the Guardian ad Litem Program in 1993.
Since that time, she has accepted assignment to more than 75 cases, involving well over a hundred children.
Not only does Valerie apply her advocacy in the community and courtroom, Valerie has been known to drive out of state to visit “her children.” She helps those who have basic needs, including clothing, personal hygiene products and school supplies and those who have complex needs like medical, mental health and juvenile justice related issues.
Ms. Homer-Faggart has also been featured as a guest speaker on radio and television shows. She has mentored those who are new to the role as child advocate and has assisted staff with numerous in-service training sessions.
Ms. Homer-Faggart’s dedication to and compassion for children inspires all who come into contact with her and it is for this reason she was awarded one of the Guardian ad Litem’s most prestigious awards.