The Lewis County GAL Program is a member program of Washington State CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). Volunteers from all walks of life are trained to do an independent investigation and advocate for children going through dependency court. The volunteer speaks with those involved in the child's life, such as parents, relatives, foster parents, teachers, counselors, etc. in order to gather information and make recommendations to the judge as to the best interests of the child. Parents and Social Workers have attorneys to speak on their behalf, but the children need a voice to speak up for them. The GAL gets to know the child personally, and conveys the child's wishes and what the GAL feels is in the child's best interests in court so that the judge can make an informed decision on placement, services, and ultimately whether the child should be returned to the parent or another plan should be pursued. This website has even more detailed information about the role of a GAL, CASA and the local programs.
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