Sonia Valladares has been with the State of Florida Guardian ad Litem Program for the past 27 years. She is currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation. Sonia began her career as a Florida Guardian ad Litem Program intern back in 1991. She has worn many hats during her tenure with the Program. She was the previous Circuit Director for the Miami-Dade Guardian ad Litem Program. The largest Guardian ad Litem program in the State of Florida and one of the largest Guardian ad Litem programs in the nation. While at the helm of the Miami-Dade Guardian ad Litem Program she directed a staff of “71” and a cadre of Guardian ad Litem Volunteers in excess of 450.
Sonia is very involved in local, state, and national advocacy for children, including maintaining memberships with the CASA/Guardian ad Litem Alliance of States. She was previously appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Children & Families to serve on the Independent Living Services Advisory Council and has served on the Board of National CASA.
Sonia was the recipient of the 2008 State of Florida Guardian ad Litem Program “Executive Director Award” for exceptional performance, leadership, and dedication to the Guardian ad Litem Program. Under her leadership, the 11th Judicial Circuit Guardian Ad Litem Program received the 2009 “National CASA Association Inclusion Award”. Sonia was awarded the 2011 “Daniel P. Dawson Award” for outstanding leadership, contribution and commitment to Florida’s abused & neglected children. She was also awarded the 2014 “Barbara Sessa Award” which is given annually to a Guardian ad Litem employee that goes above & beyond.
Sonia is a certified facilitator of the Casey Foundation / National CASA “Knowing Who You Are” Training Curriculum and the “Fostering Futures” Training Curriculum.