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The mission of the Marion County Juvenile Court GAL program is to serve the child advocacy needs of Indianapolis youth referred to the court on juvenile delinquency matters.
Sometimes, not everyone involved with a juvenile court case agrees about what is in the best interest for the child. In certain cases under the jurisdiction of the Marion Superior Court, Juvenile Division the court may order the appointment of a Guardian ad Litem to protect the best interests of the child involved.
In most juvenile delinquency cases a parent or guardian will appear for a child in court and will serve as the child's GAL. However, sometimes the court must appoint a volunteer Guardian ad Litem from the community when a parent or guardian is unable or unwilling to protect the best interests of their child. The court may appoint a volunteer GAL when: it's a delinquent act against the parent, it's a delinquent act against a brother or sister or other family member, there are other parent issues, and/or there are other conflicts between the parent and child.
The GAL gathers and reports factual data to the court that will assist the court in making decisions related to the child's welfare at the disposition hearing. The GAL meets with their client, discusses the case with the client's public defender/private attorney, communicates with the assigned probation officer to explore community services that may help rehabilitate the client, interviews parents/guardians and any other relevant person or service provider, and formulates an accurate, objective, unbiased report for the court with the GAL's recommendations as to what they believe is in the best interests of their client.
Please visit our website for more information.
- Ryan Hakes
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