The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program is witnessing a 21% increase in the number of new Child Protection cases in the 4th Judicial District of Idaho. A child protection case is initiated when a child is removed from their home due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. CASA relies on pro bono attorneys to navigate these cases, and WE NEED YOUR HELP!
The CASA Program trains and supervises community volunteers, known as Guardians ad Litem (GAL). GALs are appointed by our local courts to advocate for children’s best interests in the child protection court proceedings, and each GAL in Ada and Boise County must have a pro bono attorney. These attorneys are recruited and trained through the CASA program.
There is an urgent need for volunteer attorneys now. There are 15 cases needing attorneys as of the date of this email, and certainly more cases to come.
- GAL attorneys represent the GAL and provide approximately five hours (usually less) a month of legal counsel to the GAL who does the on-hands investigation of cases.
- Any attorney can handle these cases (even if you don’t litigate as part of your practice).
- CASA Program staff and mentoring attorneys will provide you support and materials.
- You can easily and quickly get up to speed to represent GALs.
To become a pro bono attorney for the CASA program, all you need to do now is email Darci Anderson for more information and to change the life of a child! firstname.lastname@example.org
Training includes videos hosted by Judge Ellis, for which you also receive FREE CLE credit from the Idaho State Bar.
Mentors are available to assist new attorneys through the process and answer case-by-case questions.
Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program coordinates to ensure malpractice coverage (if needed) and reporting pro bono hours.
Our GALs are currently serving 485+ children throughout the 4th Judicial District. However, those volunteer GALs can only succeed when they have assistance from counsel like you. By giving your time and expertise to the cause of child protection, you are helping to ensure that every child will have their best interests represented in court.
GAL Attorney Testimonials:
“I have been representing GALs for years and find this work the most satisfying pro bono service because it impacts the lives of children who, through no fault of their own, are in gut-wrenching circumstances. You will feel good about being a counselor-at-law when you volunteer.”
“At first, I was scared to volunteer – I thought I’d be too sad, and I wasn’t a litigator by practice. However, I felt very supported by the CASA team and was called to work, so I jumped in despite my hesitancies. I’ve been doing it for almost four years now, and it is SO REWARDING. There is a system to interrupt abuse and neglect and get these families the services they need to change the story for these kids. Attorneys are a critical part of this system, and I am grateful I have the skills and means to volunteer.”