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.