guardian ad litem - help or hinder?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 02-20-2009, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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does anyone here have experience with a guardian ad litem being appointed for their minor child? in a case where the father abused the child, and the DCYF (same as CPS) caseworker stated "i feel the mother strongly coached the child" but i can't get hold of that letter? would the guardian ad litem be able to provide me with copies of documents i haven't had access to? or will they only report straight to the court? DCYF messed up big-time ... my daughter did in fact disclose at least 2 "official" times, but they refused to count it because she spoke in "language far above her age." well, she is a fairly gifted child! she's 4 and doing hidden word searches, using big words and long phrases. would the guardian ad litem be able to testify in court that this child is gifted and speaks much higher than her age level? would that help the judge re-interpret the old report? my daughter is continuing to disclose about her father's abuse. yet for whatever reason, every time i make a report to DCYF, they say your case is already closed, you'll have to open a new one, wait for the paperwork in the mail ... and i don't get any paperwork. i have so many calls into SO many people, fighting every day for my daughter's rights!!! i've read nightmare stories about guardian ad litems who are biased for whatever reason, ruining the lives of families and childrens. i need to hear if it's ever worked for a family! please share your experiences if you can, PMs are okay. thank you so much!!

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#2 of 11 Old 02-20-2009, 01:24 PM
 
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to your family

I hope you get some help soon
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#3 of 11 Old 02-20-2009, 05:36 PM
 
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I hope that other mamas chime in as my children will soon have a guardian ad litem appointed for them.
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#4 of 11 Old 02-20-2009, 06:23 PM
 
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Mandalamama -
In your case, I would hope that the guardian ad litem could be more help than not - but that depends on the worker.
I would encourage you to have the guardian request a developmental psych eval for your daughter. This could document your dd's development and provide a more thorough eval to the judge. If your dd is not in therapy for the abuse, and you think it might be beneficial, then this would be the door in.
HTH!
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#5 of 11 Old 02-20-2009, 08:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lysa View Post
Mandalamama -
In your case, I would hope that the guardian ad litem could be more help than not - but that depends on the worker.
I would encourage you to have the guardian request a developmental psych eval for your daughter. This could document your dd's development and provide a more thorough eval to the judge. If your dd is not in therapy for the abuse, and you think it might be beneficial, then this would be the door in.
HTH!

I was going to say that and I know in NY you have one on one with their "law guardians" that is the same thing and depending on the age of the child they have one on one with the child also if she speaks so well just the one on one should show him/her that she is bright it also like Lysa said depends on the worker my Ds was lucky he has a WONDERFUL worker myself I had a horrid one. I thanked Ds's over and over and over for actually careing. I think if you talk to them and show them how much you care for your Dc and explain that you want your Dc to be safe and that is all that matters and so on they may soften up if they seem "rough"

Good Luck Mama

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#6 of 11 Old 02-20-2009, 09:40 PM
 
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CPS records for your child can be accessed using the Freedom of Information Act.

Single WAHM to 5yo DD, 2yo DS, and forever 7 week old angel DD.
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#7 of 11 Old 02-21-2009, 10:58 AM
 
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I have had a few GALs and the women were VERY father-centered while the male GAL was more neutral. I think that in my case, the women were professional women who put their 6-week olds in daycare to go back to work full time and they didn't get my whole "attachment" philosophy. The women were absolutely ruthless and didn't look at the needs of ds. If you have to get a GAL, at least go for a male. They are more likely to have a wife who stays home to nurture the children. Sounds stereotypical/sexist, but I have found it to be true.
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#8 of 11 Old 02-21-2009, 11:31 AM
 
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GAL's cannot testify, but they do speak for the child and they can bring up things that your lawyer cannot. They are also, in my experience, a direct conduit to the judge and can tell the judge things off the record that impact the judge's decisions.

My GAL met with my 4 year old, although he was silly and not interested in talking, it was still good for her to meet him in person.

It's funny that there hasn't been one assigned; they're generally mandatory in cases where abuse is suspected.

FTR, my GAL is a woman and she has been VERY fair and truly watching out for the best interest of the children.

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#9 of 11 Old 02-21-2009, 12:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TearyCloud View Post
I have had a few GALs and the women were VERY father-centered while the male GAL was more neutral. I think that in my case, the women were professional women who put their 6-week olds in daycare to go back to work full time and they didn't get my whole "attachment" philosophy. The women were absolutely ruthless and didn't look at the needs of ds. If you have to get a GAL, at least go for a male. They are more likely to have a wife who stays home to nurture the children. Sounds stereotypical/sexist, but I have found it to be true.

I totally agree it does seem that way Mine my personal one Ihad as a child was this way she couldn't understand that my mother was concernd for us kids and she was all about us "being" with my father who wanted nothing to do with us down to lieing about what Ihad said to the judge!!!!! Now Ds's is a guy he is amazing he has gone above and beyond what is expected of him it could be a coinsedence that we both had similair expereances but it may not be!!

OP I wish you the best and sending good thought your way for a wonderful guardian for you Dc!!!

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#10 of 11 Old 02-21-2009, 01:40 PM
 
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I had one years ago for myself & if you get a good one (& most are) they are wonderful. Mine was able to stand up & say anything for me, since I was a teen we just met before each hearing for a few minutes, but for a younger child they spend more time & their job is to not give a rat's behind about you or your ex, but to be your child's voice.
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#11 of 11 Old 02-21-2009, 07:05 PM
 
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I had one, and it is better than a parenting evaluator, although the GAL doesn't really take any action to fix problems, just make note of them.

good luck!!!
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