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 8-10 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.
GALs are not:
- Service providers
- Asked to spend money or take children places
- From all backgrounds and educational levels
- Committed to represent a child for the duration of their court case
- Full-time employees, retirees, stay-at-home parents, college students