A Guardian ad Litem is a trained community member appointed by the Court, who is paired with an Guardian ad Litem attorney to represent a child’s best interest in court.
Know the child
- Visit the child in its environment at least once a month
- Conduct independent interviews with parents, caretakers, social workers, teachers, and others who are involved with the child
- Review court, medical, school, and other records that tell the story of the child and their family
- Seek cooperative solutions with other participants in the child’s case, particularly the Department of Social Services
- Communicate with the GAL Attorney Advocate to discuss legal strategies and prepare for court
- Attend court hearings and other meetings
Empower the child’s voice
- Express the child’s wishes to the court
- Keep the child informed about the court proceedings
- Facilitate the child’s participation in court hearings as appropriate
- Write child-focused reports for court hearings
- Make recommendations that reflect the best interests of the child
- Testify when needed to support those recommendations
Commit approximately 10 hours per month to each case
Just 3 hours a week. Much of the work is flexible and can be done on your schedule.
Attend Court hearings and key meetings for the case
These events are planned months in advance and program personnel are available to cover when you cannot.
Guardian ad Litem volunteers always have the support of a GAL attorney, staff and mentors.
Volunteers complete 30 hours of training
This occurs prior to being sworn in by the court.
Training is offered quarterly
Volunteers may choose from day or evening training classes.
- Skills needed to be an effective Guardian ad Litem volunteer.
- Resources available.
- Factors that impact children, such as addiction, mental illness, neglect, abuse and poverty.