SB 88
Modifies provisions of law relating to guardians ad litem
LR Number:
Last Action:
5/17/2019 - H Informal Calendar Senate Bills for Third Reading
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2019
House Handler:

Current Bill Summary

SB 88 - Under this act, guardians ad litem (GALs) appointed in a case involving an abused or neglected child shall be required to establish a relationship with the child and meet face-to-face in a private setting to observe the child and ascertain the child's wishes and needs. Such initial interview shall take place within 7 days following the appointment of the GAL and the GAL shall continue to maintain contact with the child for the duration of the appointment. The child's current placement or legal custodian shall cooperate with the GAL to schedule the initial meeting and take all steps necessary to effectuate the meeting. Additionally, the GAL shall attend, as appropriate and necessary, any and all family support team meetings involving the child.

This act specifies the standards that a GAL shall adhere to in family and juvenile courts, including standards relating to GAL case loads; the best interests of the child; diligent advocacy for the child; reasonable access to the child and the child's reasonable access to the GAL; the GAL's access to relevant records relating to the child; confidentiality of information; case review; GAL-child interactions; GAL participation in plans, staffings, and orders relating to the child; GAL presence in court proceedings; and GAL recommendations to the court.

Provisions of this act are similar to provisions in SB 930 (2018) and SB 1073 (2016).