Requirements to become a Maine rostered GAL
Thank you for your interest in being a Guardian ad litem. The Maine Guardian ad litem Core Training is offered once every other year. Mental health professionals are required to attend the first 3 days. Attorneys have the option of attending 3 days or 4 days. The cost is $125.00 per day. A tuition reduction option for pro bono work is also available.
In order to be considered for the Guardian ad litem Roster, the following credentials are required:
There are four categories of people eligible to be considered for placement on the GAL roster:
- An attorney holding a current valid license to practice law in Maine. You are required to complete the entry-level training and submit a completed application to the Chief Judge.
- A mental health professional holding a current valid license to practice as an LSW, LCSW, LCPC, LMSW, LPC, LMFT, psychologist, or psychiatrist in Maine. You are required to complete the entry-level training and submit a completed application to the Chief Judge.
- Volunteers who have satisfied the screening and training requirements of the Maine CASA program and are certified by the CASA Director to be appointed as volunteers in Title 22 child protection cases.
- A person for whom the Chief Judge or the Maine District Court has waived licensure for qualification requirements. The Chief Judge will only waive the requirements for those individuals who successfully demonstrate that their education, experience and character enable them to live up to the "Standards of Practice for Guardians ad litem in Maine Courts." Individuals who hope to be rostered under this category are encouraged to submit a completed application at least 120 days before participating in the core training program so that they will know in advance whether they will be eligible for rostering after completing the training. The application must be accompanied by a letter detailing the applicant's professional experience and documenting the applicant's case for waiver of the licensing requirement. Failure to provide sufficient information will result in denial of the application.
A person who satisfies A, B or D above is eligible to be rostered only after successful completion of the core training requirements of the Maine Rules for Guardians ad Litem (hereinafter, "Maine GAL Rules"). In addition, all applicants must be approved by the Chief Judge following a background check consisting of a criminal history information check, screening for child abuse cases and any other investigations deemed appropriate by the Chief Judge.
A person who satisfies C above must complete the same requirements to accept any appointments in Title 19A cases.
Those interested in volunteering for the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program (CASA) must be screened by program staff and invited to attend training. CASA provides training for new Volunteers each year in the spring summer, and fall. CASA Volunteer GAL’s work only in Title 22 cases and are asked to commit to at least one case for the duration of the case. For more information please call Elizabeth McCullum, Esq., CASA Program Manager, @ 287-5424.
If you would have other questions, please feel free to contact me at anytime.
Kirsten F. Skorpen, LMSW
Family Division Resource Coordinator
Administrative Office of The Courts
171 State House Station Augusta, Maine 04333 207-287-7626