ERIC Number: ED433157
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Nov-14
Reference Count: N/A
Speaking for Our Children: A Look at the Guardian ad Litem Program.
Sheehan, Valerie A.
A guardian ad litem or court appointed special advocate (CASA) is appointed by a judge to speak for the child's best interests in court hearings related to allegations of child abuse or neglect. This paper examines the need for more American Indians to become involved as volunteer guardians ad litem. The first part provides historical information about guardian ad litem programs and some statistics about child out-of-home placements in Minnesota and Hennepin County. About 20-25 percent of CASA cases in Hennepin County involve American Indian children; Indian children are removed from their homes at a rate 10 times greater than that of White children. Culturally sensitive advocates are needed to deal with a court system viewed by Indians as negative and adversarial. The second part explains the court process, detailing how a child becomes involved in the system and the process that protects the child's rights. There are also some safeguards for the parents so they will have due process if they are accused of child abuse or neglect. Part 3 discusses how one becomes a guardian ad litem in Hennepin County, including recruitment, completion of an application, interview with a practicing guardian ad litem, and training. Barriers to American Indian participation are identified. The conclusion includes recommendations for recruiting and retaining more American Indian guardians ad litem. (Contains 10 references and a glossary.) (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota