The Guardian ad Litem Program is able to represent thousands of children with the help of volunteers. If you are interested in Volunteering here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
DO I HAVE THE QUALIFICATIONS NEEDED TO ADVOCATE FOR A CHILD?
If you are concerned for the well being of children and a have continuing commitment to advocate for a child until a safe and permanent home is obtained — you will be an effective Guardian ad Litem. If you are objective and non judgmental and are able to interact with people of various educational, economic and ethnic backgrounds — you will be an effective Guardian ad Litem.
HOW MUCH TIME MUST I COMMIT AS A VOLUNTEER GUARDIAN AD LITEM?
A Guardian ad Litem must successfully complete 30 hours of certification training and 6 hours annually of re certification training, and spend an average of 10 hours per month working on the case (as with any average, some cases will involve more time, and some less time
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE GUARDIAN AD LITEM?
The Guardian ad Litem carries out 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 the orders of the court, as well as the plans of the Department of Children and Families, are carried out.
WHAT ARE THE VOLUNTEER GUARDIAN AD LITEM RESPONSIBILITIES?
Visits the child and keeps the child informed about the court proceedings;
- Gathers and assesses independent information on a consistent basis about the child in order to recommend a resolution that is in the child’s best interest;
- Reviews records;
- Interviews appropriate parties involved in the case, including the child;
- Determines whether a permanent plan has been created for the child in accordance with federal and state laws and whether appropriate services are being provided to the child and family;
CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO TO GET A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE ROLE OF A GUARDIAN AD LITEM