Circuit Judge John Bowman serves the people of Broward County, Florida. A good deal of Judge John Bowman’s work deals with children and young people in the state. November 22, 2016, will mark his 14th year as chairman of the local National Adoption Day event, which he helped to create.
Each November, Broward County celebrates adoption and the wonderful parents who make it possible. On one special Saturday, dozens of families gather to make their adoptions official at the same time.
ChildNet, Florida’s dedicated service for children and families, has been holding the event for well over a decade. Although adoptions occur year-round, but the festive event draws a lot of attention and helps raise awareness for the kids who are still awaiting homes.
Today, there are 200 children awaiting loving homes in Broward and Palm Beach counties. If your family is considering adopting a new member, learn more about the process online at www.childnet.us/portal/adoption.
Juvenile Assessment Center
Circuit Judge John Bowman presides over civil trial courts in the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, area. Throughout his career, Judge John Bowman has contributed greatly to the juvenile justice system in Broward County. He has been active with the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and the juvenile detention system.
When a young person in Broward County is taken into police custody, he or she is taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC). The central intake facility works to ensure that youth receive whatever services they need to be safe and cared for while also protecting the community.
The Juvenile Assessment Team (JAT) helps assess young people to make sure that individuals who need mental health care or help with substance abuse receive those services. JAT can also provide services to young people referred from other parts of the justice system, such as juvenile probation or the Intervention Program.
These programs help prevent juvenile arrests by directing young people toward the behavioral or mental health services that can help them succeed.
Guardian ad Litem
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Florida Atlantic University, Judge John Bowman went on to receive his JD from St. Thomas University, and in 2002, he was elected to the position of circuit civil judge in Ft. Lauderdale. As an active public servant, Judge John Bowman received the Community Advocate of the Year award in 2007 from the Florida Guardian ad Litem program (GAL), an organization whose mission is to give a voice to children.
GAL volunteers must undergo training to learn how to advocate effectively for children who have been taken away from their families due to abuse or neglect. Volunteer advocates may be attorneys, welfare professionals, or community members, and their job is to advocate in court for children who are often scared and too young to navigate the legal system alone.
GAL provides volunteers with a variety of training and resource opportunities. Topics and certifications include promoting normalcy for foster youth, child welfare and human trafficking, transitioning foster youth to permanency, and navigating Medicaid, as well as other information relevant to children in foster care. Training may be done via instructional videos, state and local conferences, and online learning modules to equip volunteers for the role of court advocate.
Judge John Bowman is a civil court trial judge based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who has made lasting impacts in his jurisdiction. Since he was elected to the bench in 2002, Judge John Bowman has improved the efficiency of the judicial process and drastically increased the adoption rate in his district through vigorous oversight and participation in large-scale public programs, such as National Adoption Day.
Founded in 2000, National Adoption Day is an annual campaign that seeks to raise the public’s awareness of the tens of thousands of children awaiting adoption in the United States. Initially, National Adoption Day began as a coalition between law firms, foster care agencies, child advocates, and courts in nine jurisdictions nationwide. It has grown significantly each year to include events in all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico and Guam.
Taking place every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the annual event helps place thousands of children in permanent homes each year. In 2012, more than 4,500 children found homes on National Adoption Day, adding to the nearly 45,000 who have been adopted with the help program since it was founded 13 years ago. This year, another 4,500 children are expected to be placed with permanent families during the event, which is planned for November 23, 2013.