As a child advocate, a GAL/CASA volunteer has three main responsibilities:
· To serve as a fact-finder for the Court. A GAL/CASA research should include reviewing documents and interviewing the child(ren), parents, neighbors, school officials and other professionals. Reports on the findings are written in a report and submitted to the GAL/CASA office for review and then submitted to the Court.
· To speak for the child in the courtroom, focusing exclusively on the child’s best interest. Is it best for a child to be placed with other family members … in a foster home ...a therapeutic facility…or returned home with ongoing services? Is it best for the child to then remain in the home … in foster care.or therapeutic facility ...or freed for adoption? A GAL/CASA provides the Judge with information that helps answer these questions in the best interest of the child.
· To continue to act as an advocate for the child during the case, ensuring the child is provided a permanent home that is safe, loving, nurturing and secure.