_A Guardian ad Litem is a trained community volunteer who is appointed by a district court judge to investigate and determine the needs of abused and neglected children petitioned into the court system by the Department of Social Services. The Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Volunteer makes independent recommendations to the court for services, which focus on the needs of each child. The Guardian ad Litem advocates for a permanent and safe home for every child within the shortest time possible.
The main qualifications are a sincere concern for the well being of children and a continuing commitment to advocate for a child until a safe and permanent home is obtained. The volunteer must also be a mature adult of sound character with good verbal and written communication skills. A Guardian ad Litem Volunteer must be objective and non-judgmental and be able to interact with people of various educational, economic, and ethnic backgrounds.