Guardian ad Litem School Policy for 2017-2018

For Guardian ad Litem Volunteers visits their assigned child at a school there is protocol that should be followed.  The Guardian ad Litem program has been working with the Brevard County School Board to get a clear procedure that will work for schools and Guardian Volunteers. This should help with some of the confusion that school staff and Guardian Volunteers have encountered.

 

A Guardian ad Litem will have:

·       A court order indicating the Guardian ad Litem program is assigned to the child(ren)

·       A Notice of Acceptance, identifying the particular Guardian ad Litem currently on the case. The court order and Notice of Acceptance will contain the specific student’s name.

·       A GAL badge and a drivers license available for check in through computer program

 

The court appoints the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Program in dependency cases. The GAL volunteer has full access to all the school records of their court-assigned youth and should be contacted to attend all meetings involving this youth. The GAL has the right to ask questions about the student’s progress/grades/behaviors in school but should make an appointment for all such discussions. They are sworn to confidentiality of all information.

 

The first time a GAL comes to the school for the purpose of checking a student out, they must show:

·       The court order that notes the student’s name

·       The Notice of Acceptance which has his/her name as the guardian assigned

·       Their GAL badge and divers license.

 

The school should make a copy of the court order for the student’s file. The GAL should be identified in the AS400 data system as a guardian/contact with checkout privileges. As part of the GAL transportation agreement, the GAL is responsible for contacting the caregiver and the Dependency Case Manager prior to transporting any child. At all times the GAL must have his/her badge displayed to check-in and -out of a school site when visiting a child on campus.

 

If a GAL wants to see a student during school hours, he/she should call ahead to arrange a non-academic time to make contact.  Prior to visiting at a school the Guardian ad Litem should speak with the student to make sure they will not feel uncomfortable with his/her presence. At all times, minimal disruption to a student’s school day will be maintained.

About the Guardian ad Litem Program

Thousands of abused, abandoned and neglected children become the subject of judicial proceedings each year in Florida. Their voices are often unheard and best interests overlooked in the complicated and overburdened adversary process. Guardians ad Litem (GAL) are citizens who volunteer to become part of a court program to represent the best interests of an assigned child. The volunteer Guardian ad Litem is a representative for the child before the court, social service agencies and the community. He/she also protects the child during the family crisis, court proceedings, and follows the child’ progress.

About Friends of Children of Brevard

Friends of Children funds clothing, beds, bikes, computers, diapers, school supplies, luggage, holiday gifts, duffle bags and other items not provided by government agencies. We also provide these children with some basic opportunities and access to normal childhood activities.

 

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