SC Vulnerable Adult Guardian ad Litem

Each year in South Carolina, thousands of vulnerable adults become victims of elder abuse. Elder abuse is a serious crime that can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, sexual abuse, and financial exploitation. 

VAGAL SC Overview Brochure

Upcoming Volunteer Training - Friday, January 27, 2023

2021 Volunteer Guide

Volunteer Application

Volunteer Page (Password Protected) - Coming Soon!

Map of VAGAL SC Regions

What does the VAGAL SC Program do?

South Carolina's Vulnerable Adult Guardian ad Litem Program provides guardians ad litem for vulnerable adults who are under the custody of the South Carolina Department of Social Services. The adults served by the program have been abused, neglected, or exploited, or are no longer able to provide care for themselves.  In 2018 the South Carolina Department of Social Services received over 9,000 reports of vulnerable adults being abused, neglected, or exploited. Many of these reports resulted in court proceedings.

Since South Carolina's Vulnerable Adult Guardian ad Litem Program started in 2011, the program has provided Guardians ad Litem for over 1,300 vulnerable adults. 


South Carolina's Vulnerable Adult Guardian ad Litem Volunteer Program (VAGAL SC) is looking for volunteers! Interested in acting as an unbiased advocate for adults in need? Volunteers for the VAGAL SC Program are being recruited and trained to serve as Guardians ad Litem to represent vulnerable adults in the custody of Adult Protective Services.  Elder abuse does not stop on its own. Someone has to step in to help.

Volunteer GALs will appear in court and make recommendations based on what is in the best interest of the vulnerable adult. Volunteers are also being recruited to serve as GAL Visitors. GAL Visitors are not required to attend court. They make visits to vulnerable adults in facilities and work with a GAL to ensure the adult’s needs are being met.

Volunteer Responsibilities

Guardians ad Litem are responsible for meeting with the adult, reviewing legal, medical, and financial records, and interviewing the adult’s caregivers, family members, friends, and treatment team. GALs prepare a written report that is presented at court. In the report, the GAL makes a recommendation as to what is in the best interest of the vulnerable adult.

Please contact Mary Buskey at (803) 734-9884 to volunteer for this worthy program!

Volunteer for Justice logo

Need Help for Other Types of Abuse?

If you suspect abuse or neglect in a long term care facility, please call a Long Term Care Ombudsman at 1-800-868-9095, housed at the South Carolina Department on Aging (SCDOA).

If you suspect your loved one is being abused in his/her home, please contact Adult Protective Services at DSS.