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Guardian ad Litem - Gaston County

The Guardian Ad Litem Services Division in the Administrative Office of the Courts is a unified statewide program in North Carolina. The program operates under a legislative mandate to represent the best interests of the children who are brought before the Court through petitions alleging abuse or neglect and, at the trial judge's discretion, dependency.

Although not specifically mandated by legislation, the Program also ensures that the wishes of a child old enough to express them are brought to the Court's attention.

A child is guaranteed Guardian ad Litem representation. When the Guardian ad Litem is not an attorney, an Attorney Advocate must also be appointed to represent the legal interests of the child. The trained Guardian ad Litem Volunteer and an Attorney Advocate work with the Program staff to provide this representation.

This information was obtained through the North Carolina Guardian ad Litem Guidelines for Best Practice, distributed in November of 2000.