Title 22 Child Protection Guardians ad Litem (GALs)
What is a Title 22 Guardian ad Litem (GAL)?
If you are involved in a Maine child protection case your child will have a guardian ad litem (GAL). A Title 22 child protection case is generally filed by the Department of Health and Human Services when they believe a child is unsafe in the custody of his or her biological parent or legal guardian. For more information about the appointment of GALs in Title 22 child protection cases see 22 M.R.S. § 4005.
In a Title 22 child protection case:
- The court must appoint a GAL for all children.
- The court is responsible for the entire cost of the GAL.
- The GAL will be either a rostered (approved) Maine attorney or a Maine Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). Maine CASA GALs are trained community volunteers overseen by experienced attorneys. For more information about CASA GALs visit the program's website at www.casaofmaine.org.
What are a Title 22 Guardian ad Litem's (GAL's) responsibilities?
When a GAL is appointed in a Title 22 child protection case the court issues an order of appointment. The order of appointment outlines the responsibilities of the Title 22 GAL pursuant to relevant sections of the law. See 4 M.R.S. § 1554, 22 M.R.S. § 4005, and M.R.G.A.L. 4(c) for responsibilities of a GAL in Title 22 cases.