A Guardian ad Litem is an attorney appointed by the Juvenile Court to advocate for the best interests of a child in a juvenile court proceeding and has undergone special training about his/her role with the Court.
Roles of a GAL
- A GAL will communicate with you regarding the child's needs and your efforts to meet those needs.
- A GAL may also communicate with teachers, counselors, therapists, doctors, and anyone else who has relevant information.
- A GAL will listen to your concerns.
- If you are a person who wants custody or visitation, the Guardian ad litem will confer with you about this child.
- A Guardian ad litem will make reports concerning the child to the court.
Responsibilities of a GAL
- Investigation: A Guardian ad litem is entitled to and collects all the information relating to his/her ward.
- Mediation: A Guardian ad litem discusses issues with all parties to reach resolutions in the child's best interests.
- Monitoring: A Guardian ad litem monitors court proceedings and any services provided to the child by Cuyahoga County Domestic Family Services or by a private child placing agency that has temporary or permanent custody of the child.
- Recommendations: The Guardian ad litem makes recommendations to the court and files any motions and other court papers to advocate on behalf of the best interests of the child.
- Monitoring Remain actively involved until the case is terminated and the child is in a safe and permanent living environment.