GAL Training for Juvenile Delinquent Cases

  • Bar Association
  • Juvenile
  • Courts
  • Continuing Legal Education Program (CLE)

The morning will consist of an overview on the identification and treatment of child abuse and neglect and will include the requirements under the law for assessment of abuse and neglect, an explanation of the levels of intervention including informal adjustments, and the CHINS categories, covering the statutory definitions of GAL, an explanation of the various roles, an explanation of state and national standards and the state code of ethics, and the requirements of the federal law (CAPTA). Finally, developmental considerations in working with abused and neglected children and will be presented by Dr. Richard Rowlison. Presenters will explain the key developmental tasks of children at various ages and stages that you should be aware of in working with or observing children, covering risk factors for maltreatment at different ages, attachment issues, red flags that attorneys, GAL and others should watch for at different ages, and the importance of trauma informed care. One hour of ethics on the many ethical dilemmas that arise when representing children will be discussed in this portion.

Many ethical dilemmas arise when representing children, such as how you determine the interests of an infant, toddler or preschooler, whether rules of confidentiality apply, whether ex parte communications are allowed, and what the difference is between serving as a GAL (best interests representation) versus an attorney-client relationship (client directed representation).

12-1pm: Q&A with Juvenile Court judicial officers

Understanding the JD Case:
Training will benefit GALs dealing with youth in delinquency court. Abused and neglected children are more likely to commit delinquent acts and end up in the juvenile justice system than children who are not in the child welfare system. GALs, trained and knowledgeable about the delinquency system, can be a valuable asset, assisting with informed decision making and continuity of information regarding these youth. The involvement of a GAL can provide an important bridge across the systems of care for these "crossover youth" who are also involved, or who have been involved in the past, with the child welfare system. Each participant will receive a copy of the training manual: "Overview of a Juvenile Delinquency Case and the Role of a Guardian ad Litem Volunteer." The training will include information on delinquency law and procedure; an explanation of the differences between CHINS/Termination cases and Juvenile Delinquency cases and how the role of the GAL is affected; and opportunities for participants to apply the law and their advocacy skills to real-life case scenarios.

  • CLE Credit Comments: 6 general hours, including one hour of ethics
  • Contact:
    Caren Chopp
    Indianapolis Bar Association