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Guardian Ad Litem Program
To get more information on volunteering as a child advocate, click on "volunteer opportunites" on the right had side of the page. You will find Informational meeting dates and places, training dates, and application materials.
The Second Judicial District Juvenile and Family Courts established a Guardian Ad Litem Program in 1984 to provide child advocates to address the "best interests" of children involved in court cases. The children are involved in court due to allegations of child-abuse or neglect; delinquency; domestic violence; or custody and visitation disputes.
THE ROLE OF THE GUARDIAN AD LITEM
The GAL has a key role in child protection proceedings. Unlike the other participants, the GAL has no interest other than that of the child. The court, in contrast, must uphold the rights of the parents, the state, and the child. Social services agencies are bound by public policies and agency regulations which may be different or insensitive to the needs of individual children. Although other participants state their goals in terms of the child's interests, the child's GAL is unique in having only the interests of child in mind. The GAL's job is to ensure that the child is protected, to ensure that a stable home is provided, and to ensure that a thorough family assessment is made. Finally, it is not the GAL's job to make decisions about the child's future, but to make recommendations to the court to enable the court to make the best possible decision.
Our Guardian Ad Litem Program uses community volunteers to speak for children's best interest in court. The volunteer follows the case as it moves through the court system, and provides the court with recommendations as decisions are made that affect the child's well being.
Juvenile and Family Judicial Center (JFJC)
Ramsey County Guardian ad Litem Program
25 West 7th Street
St. Paul, MN 55102-1103
Directions to the JFJC
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Kristen Trebil, Program Manager
For more information, contact: (651) 266-5270 or Email us