Guardian ad Litem
A Guardian ad Litem is a court appointed person who represents the child in court to protect their rights and interests in a court proceeding. The Guardian ad Litem makes independent recommendations to the court by focusing on the needs of each child. The Guardian ad Litem advocates for the best interests of the child they represent. They learn about their families, their progress in school and their special needs. When a guardian appears in Court on behalf of a child, they will make recommendations to the judge that are child focused, and in the child’s
best interest for a safe and nurturing home. The Guardian ad Litem conducts the following activities:
Investigation: Carries out an objective, systematic examination of the situation, including relevant history, environment, relationships, and needs of the child. The GAL interviews family, friends, neighbors and members of the child's school.
Facilitation: Identifies resources and services for the child and facilitates a collaborative relationship between all parties involved in the case, helping to create a situation in which the child's needs are met.
Advocacy: Conveys the best interests of the child to the court and relevant agencies.
Monitoring: Keeps track of whether court orders are followed as well as identifies necessary resources in order to meet the needs of the minor child.