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A GAL is a Guardian Ad Litem.
In a court of law, Guardian Ad Litem literally means, “guardian for the suit.” A Guardian Ad Litem in Georgia is an attorney or non-attorney appointed by a judge to assist the Court in determining the circumstances of the matter. A guardian is empowered to investigate the entire background, living conditions, family relationships, and any matters related in order to make a recommendation to the court as to what would be in the best interests of the child as to placement, visitation, and other matters ruled upon by the court.
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You can apply for an attorney now here. You can also apply for an attorney in our office or request an application at your next court date.
CHINS is an acronym for Child in Need of Services.
Children who experience certain behaviors within the home or in the community is an indication that they are in need of support and services to help them address underlying issues.
It is purposed in code section O.C.G.A. § 15-11-380 that these children receive collaborative support and cooperation to ensure that these children become responsible contributors of society.
You can pay all court ordered fees and restitution at the Douglas County Juvenile Programs office, located on the 3rd floor of the Douglas County Courthouse.
Restitution is defined as money a judge orders an offender to pay a victim as compensation for out-of-pocket expenses related to a crime. Restitution is part of the offender’s sentence and can be ordered in juvenile cases following a conviction or a guilty plea. The amount of restitution ordered by a judge is contingent upon the victim’s expenses related to the crime and the offender’s ability to pay. Restitution is paid to the Douglas County Juvenile Programs Administration office. Restitution is distributed to the victim by Douglas County Juvenile Programs Administration.
No. Programs are court ordered for youth on probation.
No. Programs are grant funded and therefore there is no cost to families.
Yes. Douglas County Juvenile Programs does provide transportation for youth who are court mandated for programs.
CASA is an acronym for Court Appointed Special Advocate.
CASA volunteers are ordinary people who care about kids. CASA volunteers come from all backgrounds. Many work full-time. Some are students or retired people. Most CASA volunteers work on just one or two cases at a time. No legal expertise is required.
For more information, please visit the Children’s Voice: CASA, Inc. website.
CASA volunteers are assigned to a case by a Juvenile Court Judge. They conduct thorough research on the background of the case, reviewing documents and interviewing people who are involved in the child’s life. This may include teachers, therapists, extended family, doctors, etc. The CASA volunteer then make reports to the court, recommending what they believe is best for each child and providing information that will help the judge make an informed decision. CASA volunteers can also be instrumental in assuring that a child receives services which the court has ordered – things like counseling or special education.During the life of a case, a CASA volunteer monitors the child’s situation and may be the only constant in the child’s life as they move through the child welfare system.