Initiate and maintain contact with the child's Lawyer Guardian Ad Litem, the person appointed by the court to represent the child in abuse/neglect proceedings.
The Lawyer Guardian Ad Litem is a licensed attorney, appointed by the Court, who advocates for the best interest of the child in the courtroom. The Lawyer Guardian Ad Litem is an important person with whom caregivers should share information. At the time of placement, or shortly thereafter, the child's worker is required to provide the caregiver with the name and telephone number of the child's Lawyer Guardian Ad Litem. Some of the responsibilities of the child's Lawyer Guardian Ad Litem are to:
- Serve as the independent representative for the child's best interest, and to be entitled to full and active participation in all aspects of the litigation
- Determine the facts of the case by interviewing the child, social workers, family members, and others as necessary, and reviewing relevant reports and other information
- Meet with and observe the child and consult with the caregiver prior to each hearing
- Explain to the child, according to the child's ability to understand, the role of the Lawyer Guardian Ad Litem
- Attend all hearings
- Monitor the implementation of the case plan and compliance with court orders