What is a GAL? A Guardian ad Litem is an advocate for a child whose welfare is a matter of concern for the court. In legal terms, it means “guardian of the lawsuit.”
IN ESSENCE, STATES ARE INCENTIVIZED BY FEDERAL GRANT MONEY TO CREATE SITUATIONS THAT DON’T EXIST TO GENERATE THESE FUNDS.
Everyone wants a piece of the federal funding pie, so you have federal, state and local government agencies, non-profit and faith-based organizations, private foundations and corporations all working together to support the efforts of these programs. We don’t need government to intervene in families and then have adults and children abused by the very system that is designed to protect them. The majority of the time, parents are in the best position to represent the interests of their children
Read more about grant funding: Healthy Marriage-Responsible Fatherhood & Faith-Based Grants…We Know What the Game Is!
Proposal: If the deficit is not funded, services to children need to be reduced by 8%. There are several considerations to be aware of in discussing which children no longer receive guardian ad litem services. Because of the Federal mandate for abused and neglected children in juvenile court, both congressional and legislative agreement would be required to remove this mandate. Additionally, the guardian ad litem is independent from the child welfare system and often may be the only person who is assigned to the child from the beginning of the case through permanency. Eliminating mandatory guardian ad litem appointments in dissolution/custody cases would be particularly troublesome in pro se cases where the parties are proceeding without legal counsel and would greatly complicate the work of the court. (Um, I don’t think so!)
2016-17 Biennial Budget ←(Click to View)
Getting off a school bus, heading home for an afternoon snack and sitting down for homework.
McKenna Ahrenholz doesn’t complain about an average afternoon.
She has much more important ways to use her small voice in an effort to make a lot of noise.
“As early as I can remember I was in the system,” she wrote in a letter to lawmakers explaining her life while she was caught in Minnesota’s flawed child protection system. “I have been punched, starved and neglected.”
They’re big words to come from such a small person. At just 12 years old, McKenna is fighting for the thousands of foster kids across the state who don’t have a voice.
Because, in Minnesota, they’re not always given one.
“No one would listen that we wanted to stay at grandpa and grandma’s,” the letter continued. “The people who make the laws like yourselves need to hear us children who are the ones going through such a crazy life.”
McKenna and her four siblings have a lengthy history with child protection in counties all across the state.
Click to read more and view the video.http://kstp.com/news/children-at-risk-foster-childrens-rights-ignored-child-protection-mckenna-ahrenholz-childrens-law-center/4303701/
March 09, 2017 06:53 PM
State lawmakers moved forward Thursday on a bill they hope will give abused and neglected foster children a voice.
The proposal stems in part from a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation that found examples of juvenile victims forced to fend for themselves, despite state law saying they’re entitled to a lawyer.
The piece featured 12-year-old McKenna Ahrenholz, who testified Thursday in front of the Minnesota House Civil Law and Data Practices Policy Committee.
Click to read more and view the video: http://kstp.com/news/minnesota-house-bill-ron-kresha-state-legislature-aims-to-give-voice-to-foster-children/4421376/
Minnesota, Jan. 2017: The Board that manages Minnesota’s GAL program has absolutely failed to address serious issues that have put children’s live at risk, caused children to be placed in the custody of unsafe parents and then be re-abused, and contributed to families being torn apart and children, estranged from parents…as documented in complaints raised by parents.
Families have been coming forward for 20+ years to raise complaints about individual Guardian ad Litems in regards to unprofessional conduct, and conduct that violates their mandated duties.
“Many concerns have been raised about the use of guardians ad litem. Most complaints have centered on guardian actions in family court cases, primarily in contested divorce actions. Complaints have focused on guardian bias, lack of oversight and accountability, inadequate training, and inappropriate communication between guardians and judges. Parents have also complained that there is no place to seek relief if they have a problem with a guardian.” GAL Executive Summary (95-03) February 28, 1995