Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is a North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts program. The District Juvenile Court System appoints volunteer GALs teamed with an attorney to advocate for children who have been abused and/or neglected and are in the custody of the local Department of Health and Human Services.
Help us ensure every child in Guilford County who has been abused or neglected has a voice in the court system and volunteer to be a GAL.
Guardian ad Litem volunteers serve as court-appointed advocates and the voice for children in the juvenile court system. GALs do an independent investigation into the circumstances of these children’s lives, facilitate their needs being met by helping locate community resources, and advocate that those services be put into place. Furthermore, we attend court hearings on behalf of the child to report to the court what we feel is in a child’s best interest concerning their life. We do so until these children are out of the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services and into a safe, permanent home.
GALs visit with the child once per month and make contact on a regular basis with the other pertinent people in their life to help advocate for their best interest. Most GALs spend 8-12 hours per month performing their duties as a court-appointed advocate. The time spent volunteering is flexible and built around the GAL’s schedule.
The process of becoming a GAL volunteer includes an application, background check, interview, and training.