Bonita Springs resident and attorney Tom Schneider has joined the board of directors for The Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit.

The foundation recruits, trains and supports volunteer child advocates who represent abused, neglected and abandoned youth in Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. Board members are responsible for program oversight, fundraising, event coordination and public awareness campaigns.

“Since retiring and relocating to Southwest Florida, I have wanted to give back to organizations that help our youth, and the Guardian ad Litem Foundation is doing a tremendous job advocating for children and teens in the foster care system,” Schneider said. “I consider it an honor to join the board of directors and look forward to helping the foundation expand its impact and influence across the region.”

In addition to coordinating volunteer child advocates, the foundation also provides financial assistance to help meet a child’s basic and developmental needs, including the Children’s Needs Program that provides funding for “extras” like birthday parties, tutoring, summer camp programs, movie tickets and registration fees for clubs and sports.

From 2001-20, Schneider was executive director of COA Youth & Family Centers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The agency serves 10,000 children, teens and families each year, helping youth reach their greatest potential through a continuum of educational, recreational and social work programs offered through its urban community centers and rural camp facility.

Schneider served for nearly eight years with the Eastern District of Wisconsin as U.S. attorney and spent 21 years with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office as deputy district attorney, director of the organized crime and white-collar crimes unit, and assistant district attorney for felony crimes.

Schneider earned a Doctor of Law degree and Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Since we are a relatively small organization, board members take a very active role in advocating for children in our community,” said Jessica Stanfield, the foundation’s executive director. “We’re excited to have Tom on the board because his experience spans the legal system as well as the child welfare side.”

For more information about the Guardian ad Litem Foundation, please visit VoicesForKids.org.

About Guardian ad Litem Foundation

Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit, was established in 1984 and is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports Guardian ad Litem programs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Foundation, a United Way Partner Agency, has a mission of ensuring that every abused, neglected or abandoned youth in Southwest Florida has a voice as they navigate the judicial, education and child welfare system. The Foundation raises funds that help meet a child’s health, educational and social needs, as well as provides support for highly trained volunteer advocates who represent the best interests of a child until a safe, permanent placement is established. For additional information, visit VoicesForKids.org or call 239-533-1435.