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gallogox32.pngGuardians ad litem (GAL) promote proficient and skillful representation of the interests of children and others before the Juvenile Court, to vindicate their rights, and achieve their best interests as valued members of our community.

What Do GALs Do?

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.