An opportunity for volunteerism: Become a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) or CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), depending on the state in which you live.
“A Guardian ad Litem Volunteer is..
Being told you’re the only intelligent person involved and the only one who understands.
Being told you’re just as stupid as everyone else involved is, and to mind your own business.
Having a fifteen-year-old ask for a hug.
Having a fourteen-year-old ask if he could live with you if he runs away.
Being endlessly exposed to colds, flu, colds, strep, colds, chicken pox, colds, pink eye, colds.
Meeting some of the extraordinary people who are foster parents.
Being slobbered on by a zillion dogs and cats.
Losing your car in the parking lot for the fifth time in a month.
Spending dozens of hours talking to dozens of people to get ready for trial and then settling out of court on the first day.
Waiting for people to return your phone calls.
Having a hearing start on time—the one time you’re late.
Having a six-year-old call and say, “Why haven’t you come to visit me? Did the judge fire you?”
Discovering places in the county you never knew existed.
Getting phone calls saying, “Thank you.”
Brief program description: When a petition alleging abuse or neglect of a juvenile is filed in district court, the judge appoints a volunteer Guardian ad Litem advocate and an attorney advocate to provide team representation to the child, who has full party status in trial and appellate proceedings. All Guardian ad Litem advocates are trained, supervised, and supported by program staff in each county of the state. The collaborative models of GAL attorney advocates, volunteers, and staff tries to ensure that all children who are alleged by the Division of Social Services to have been abused or neglected receive GAL legal advocacy services.