Guardian ad Litem & Children's Best Interests

This special guest post is from December Graduate Regent 3L Samantha Bull who just completed the Child Advocacy Practicum:

     It does not take much time in the legal world to hear stories of guardians ad litem ("GALs") and court appointed special advocates ("CASAs") who fail to investigate thoroughly into their child client’s situation, are not adequately prepared to work with children, or worse, do not even meet with the child before the hearing. Without any minimum requirements for what they must do, GALs and CASAs may fail to represent their child client's interests in a case simply for lack of mandated requirements. These children are being lost in a shuffle of paperwork and attorney schedules with very little accountability of the court-appointed professionals who are supposed to be representing their best interests. Virginia should enact uniform standards and expectations for GALs and CASAs to meet a minimum threshold for competent representation of their clients and establish harsher repercussions for not meeting those standards since presently they are immune from suit as officers of the court.
Family restoration deserves quality legal representation for children.

No comments:

Post a Comment