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NCJ Number: 51284 Find in a Library
Title: COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATE - THE GUARDIAN AD LITEM FOR ABUSED AND NEGLECTED CHILD
Journal: JUVENILE AND FAMILY COURT JOURNAL  Volume:29  Issue:3  Dated:(AUGUST 1978)  Pages:65-70
Author(s): C RAY-BETTINESKI
Corporate Author: National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Reno, NV 89507
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE VOLUNTEER GUARDIAN AD LITEM PROGRAM OF KING COUNTY (SEATTLE), WASH., IS DESCRIBED. THE RATIONALE BEHIND THE PROGRAM, RECRUITMENT, SELECTION, TRAINING, AND PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: THE PURPOSE OF THE GUARDIAN AD LITEM PROGRAM IS TO PROVIDE JUVENILE COURT JUDGES WITH RECOMMENDATIONS AS TO WHAT COURSE OF ACTION IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF AN ABUSED OR NEGLECTED CHILD. THIS ACTION MAY OR MAY NOT BE WHAT PARENTS, CASEWORKERS, FOSTER PARENTS, EDUCATORS, OR THE CHILDREN THEMSELVES ADVOCATE. RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE COURT ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING ISSUES: (1) WHERE THE CHILD SHALL RESIDE; (2) VISITATION WITH PARENTS; (3) TREATMENT PLAN FOR PARENTS; (4) TREATMENT PLAN FOR THE CHILD; AND (5) DATE FOR THE NEXT COURT HEARING. IN MOST CHILD ABUSE CASES THE WELFARE DEPARTMENT IS THE PLAINTIFF AND THE ADULT INFLICTING THE INJURY IS THE DEFENDANT. THE GUARDIAN PROGRAM PROVIDES A TRAINED, IMPARTIAL PERSON TO FOLLOW THE CASE OF EACH CHILD THROUGH TO A SATISFACTORY CONCLUSION. THIS PERSON, WHO IS NOT NECESSARILY AN ATTORNEY, IS TO ASK THE DIFFICULT QUESTIONS OFTEN ASKED BY NO ONE ELSE. IN THE SEATTLE PROJECT THIS GUARDIAN IS CALLED THE 'COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL COUNSEL.' THE PROGRAM, WHICH IS ADMINISTERED BY A PROJECT DIRECTOR WHO IS A DEPARTMENT HEAD IN THE COURT, BEGAN IN JANUARY 1977, AND DURING ITS FIRST YEAR PROVIDED 376 TRAINED GUARDIANS FOR 498 CHILDREN. CASES ARE REFERRED TO PROGRAM BY THE JUDGES. ONLY ABOUT A THIRD OF THE VOLUNTEERS WORK PROFESSIONALLY IN THE HUMAN, HEALTH, OR LEGAL SERVICES. EACH VOLUNTEER UNDERGOES A TRAINING PROGRAM WHICH DESCRIBES THE FOUR SEPARATE SEQUENTIAL ROLES REQUIRED: INVESTIGATOR, ADVOCATE OF THE CHILD, COUNSEL, AND FINALLY A GUARDIAN. A MONTHLY SEMINAR IS HELD TO INCREASE VOLUNTEERS' KNOWLEDGE. TIME SPENT ON ANY ONE CASE HAS RANGED FROM 12 TO 100 HOURS. GUARDIANS CAN AND DO REQUEST HEARINGS FOR UNRESOLVED ISSUES. THE JUDGES VALUE THE PROGRAM SO HIGHLY THAT IT HAS BECOME A PERMANENT PART OF THE KING COUNTY JUVENILE COURT. A LIST OF REFERENCES IS PROVIDED. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Court appointed counsel; Family courts; Juvenile courts; Juvenile dependency and neglect; Volunteer programs; Washington
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51284

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