District 9 Guardian ad Litem Program

Be the Voice for a Child

General Information

A Guardian ad Litem is a trained community volunteer who is appointed by a district court judge to investigate and determine the needs of abused and neglected children petitioned into the court system by the Department of Social Services. The Guardian ad Litem (GAL) volunteer makes independent recommendations to the court for services, which focus on the needs of the child. The Guardian ad Litem advocates for a permanent and safe home for every child within the shortest amount of time possible.

Activities

· Visits the child and keeps child informed about court proceedings

· Communicates with Attorney Advocate to develop legal strategies to recommend a resolution that is in the child’s best interest

· Gathers and assesses independent information about the child on a consistent basis to recommend a resolution that is in the child’s best interest

· Interviews the parents, guardians, caretakers. Social workers, and other service providers and reads records related to the family

· Seeks cooperative solutions with other participants in child’s case

· Writes fact-based, child-focused reports for hearings.

· Attends and participates in court hearings and other related meetings to advocate for a permanent plan which serves in the child’s best interest

· Testifies, if needed, to inform the court of changes in the child’s situation

· Ensures that the court knows the child’s wishes

· Keeps all records and information confidential

· Monitors court-ordered services and keeps the court informed about the needs of the child

· Consults with the local program staff for support and guidance

 

“I will not give up on a child. At times, being a Guardian ad Litem is not easy. When I had accepted this case, I read how others had let this little boy down, but I will not. I will see this matter through to the very end. Someone needs to be there to tell him it will be all right.”

-Robert T.,

GAL Volunteer

 

Photo Credit National CASA

The Guardian ad Litem Volunteer Description

Serving Franklin, Vance, Granville, and Warren Counties