About Our Program

The Idaho State Guardian ad Litem (GAL) programs goals are to optimize the ability of local GAL/CASA programs to serve abused and neglected children, to improve the scope, quality and impact of GAL/CASA advocacy by strengthening local programs, promoting improvements in advocacy practice and sharing the insights and work of volunteers across the state.

Guardians ad Litem are volunteers who are appointed by the court to investigate, report and make recommendations surrounding the circumstances of children in child protection proceedings. The overreaching goal is to represent the best interest of abused and neglected children. A judge appoints a volunteer to be the eyes and ears of the court and help the judge make a more informed decision. Since the volunteer is an integral part of the court system, the state Guardian ad Litem office is located within the Idaho Supreme Court.

Guardians ad Litem are also called Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). The CASA organization is a national organization dedicated to providing support for Guardians ad Litem/Court Appointed Special Advocates across the country. There are seven GAL programs in the state and each program has chosen to associate with the CASA organization. Each local GAL/CASA program is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation governed by a Board of Directors. Funding for the programs consists of foundation grants, government grants, state funds and fundraising support from the community.

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