Guardianship Legal Representation of Children
Dependency courts are primarily courts of equity, not courts of law. The judge stands in the parent’s shoes to protect the child, making judicial decisions based on information received. There are two types of representation for children in the child welfare system. This document compares those two forms of representation
Best Interest Legal Representation for Children is Better Chart
A comparison document that identifies and compares the two types of legal representation for children in foster care that includes questions and answers on how different representation matters when handling common scenarios.
Permanency Outcome Comparisons of Legal Representation of Children
A study was completed in January of 2022 that compared 33.5 months of permanency outcomes for foster children in Palm Beach County, Florida. The Florida Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office only representation was compared to the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Attorney ad Litem representation with the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office. Two thousand twenty-one single child dependency cases within the time period achieved permanency and were reviewed. Official analysis was verified, validated and completed by iSF on January 10, 2022. The Florida Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office only representation produced far better outcomes for Florida’s abused, abandoned, and neglected children.
Florida Leads in Child Wellbeing and Permanency Outcomes Compared to the Seven States Using Client-Directed Attorney Representation for Children
Florida is the BEST performer compared to the seven states using client-directed attorney ad litem representation as their primary representation model in FY 2020.
Florida Leads Among the Top Ten Most Populous States
Florida is the BEST performer among the ten most populous states on children’s well-being and permanency while in foster care.
Effectiveness of Best-Interest Representation
Every child appointed to the Florida Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office is assigned a Guardian ad Litem Attorney, a child welfare professional and hopefully a trained volunteer or pro bono attorney from the child’s community. Together the multi-disciplinary team provides information to the judge, who stands in the parent’s shoes and is the decision-maker for the child’s safety and welfare. The child’s wishes are always made known to the court. Best-interest representation is proven time and time again in studies to provide the best outcomes possible for children in the foster care system.