GALs have been in the news lately because there is growing concern in the way they (GALs) are managed. Back in 2001 in the Final Report of the Committee to Review the Child Protective System – it was noted that there is no actual supervision or oversight of GALs other than the presiding Judge or through the complaint process. Back then there were 139 GALs registered. Today there are over 300 GALs registered and still no oversight.
The system as it stands is broken. The Chief Justice Leigh Saufley and The Maine Guardian ad Litem Institute recognize this fact as do several Senators and Legislators who have had personal experience. We have received emails from people who have also experienced frustration with a system that should be helpful but at times is not. There are scant statistics on how GALs operate within the system and no way of knowing if there are issues with an individual, group or system currently. As I said the system is broken and that is why you have been seeing news on the GAL industry. There are people who are concerned about the issue of oversight and management of GALs and are trying to fix the broken system. In the future there will be more as the issues are worked on by those involved.
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