The federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA, 42. U.S.C. 5106, et.seq.) requires the appointment of a guardian ad litem (attorney or CASA) to represent an abused or neglected child in all stages of a judicial proceeding. CAPTA further requires that the child's representative receive training appropriate to that role.
Georgia law designates the Office of the Child Advocate as the agency with the responsibility to administer or approve guardian ad litem training (OCGA 15-11-9(b)). To fulfill that mandate, OCA partners with other child advocacy organizations to sponsor several training opportunities designed to meet the CAPTA training requirement.
Guardian ad Litem Training Opportunities:
For lawyers who seek Guardian Ad Litem training, the Office of the Child Advocate offers training classes, please click here to see our current training schedule. Please click here for an online training option that also satisfies the Office of the Child Advocate's requirement for training. If you prefer you may also order a DVD of this training for a self-study directly from ICLE. From the iclega.org web page, click on Video, Self-Study, View Courses, Video Categories, Family and then Child Welfare Attorney Training '11.
Child Welfare Attorney Training
Offered bi-annually, typically in April and October of each year, at the State Bar of Georgia. For more information, visit the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia at www.iclega.org. Past seminars are available online and via videotape, and CLE credits have been approved for this program.
Local jurisdictions are also encouraged to develop their own GAL training curriculum. For assistance or to submit a curriculum to OCA for approval of training content, please contact Tonya Boga at the Office of the Child Advocate at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 404-656-4200.