Guardian ad Litem
We have a unique program that serves children in Orange County. Pro bono attorneys and lay volunteers serve as advocates for children in the juvenile, criminal and domestic relations division of the circuit court. The majority of cases involve abused, abandoned, and neglected children who are the subject of juvenile dependency cases. GALs are appointed in juvenile delinquency and criminal division cases to represent the child victim or witness. Occasionally a GAL is appointed to a minor defendant in a delinquency case to provide best interest representation, not to serve as the child’s attorney in the delinquency matter. The role of the GAL and the GAL Volunteer Assistant is to serve as the “eyes and ears” of the Court and to advocate for the best interests of the child. Currently about 1200 children in Orange County are represented through the Guardian ad Litem Program. Approximately 400 attorneys and lay volunteers participate. Training, manuals and staff support services are available. For more information about the Guardian ad Litem Program, please contact Marie Priebe, at [email protected].