A Guardian Ad Litem is an advocate for a child's best interest during child abuse and neglect proceedings. The Guardian Ad Litem is appointed by the District Court. The appointment is mandatory under Federal and State statutes.
The duties of a Guardian Ad Litem are to:
- investigate the facts constituting the alleged abuse or neglect
- interview the child, parent, or custodians
- review court, medical, psychological, law enforcement and social service files
- make written reports to the court
- appear and participate in court proceedings
- perform other duties as directed by the court
Guardians Ad Litem are more than a dependent child's advocate in court. Ideally, these guardians become a child's friend, protector, mentor, and trusted advisor. A Guardian can change a child's life for the better, forever. So can a child change the Guardian.