Laws

The duties, rights and powers of the Guardian ad Litem are governed by the Idaho Child Protective Act, specifically 16-1633 and 16-1634. Idaho Juvenile Rule 35 also outlines the purpose, function and responsibilities of the volunteer.


Among other duties, I.C. 16-1633 explains the Guardian ad Litem is required to conduct an independent factual investigation of the circumstances of the child to file with the court a written report stating the results of the investigation and such other information as the court may require.


Juvenile Rule 35 sets out the topics a volunteer must cover prior to being sworn in by the judge. Topics include court processes, dynamics of families, relevant state and federal laws, confidentiality and child development, among others. Rule 35 also outlines the background process every volunteer must complete in order to ensure the safety and protection of the child assigned to the Guardian ad Litem program.

Guardians ad Litem (GALs), also known as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), provide community volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children pursuant to statute. After a thorough investigation, the GAL volunteer prepares a report outlining the history of the case, the services that are available for the child and family, and ultimately, makes a recommendation about what is in the best interests of the child. Our judges use this and other information to make an informed decision and create better outcomes for abused and/or neglected children all across Idaho.

 

"Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."

-Nelson Mandela

 

For more information:

Debra Alsaker-Burke
Statewide Child Protection Manager

 

Idaho Supreme Court
P.O. Box 83720
451 W. State Street
Boise, ID 83720-0101

 

Ph:  (208) 947-7457
dburke@idcourts.net