Volunteer guardians ad litem are required to complete a two-phase pre-service training program to become certified.
Our comprehensive curriculum includes online training and fieldwork. Prospective volunteers must first submit an application before starting any training.
Pre-service training is separate from the annual continuing education requirement, twelve hours of activities that must be completed to maintain a guardian ad litem certification.
You can learn more about the training phases, download resources and then complete the assignments in each section.
The online portion of your pre-service training consists of fifteen web-based courses. These courses are available in the state's I am for the child Academy, which requires an account. Applicant volunteer accounts will be provided during the onboarding session after the interview.
The required independent study courses are listed in the "All Courses" collection. You can access them directly using the following links.
- Chapter One: Introducing the GAL Volunteer Role
- Chapter Two: Child Abuse and Neglect
- Chapter Three: Child Well-Being
- Chapter Four: Developing Cultural Competence
- Chapter Five: Effective Communication and Interviewing Skills
- Chapter Six: Information Gathering, Documentation, and Judicial Reviews
- Chapter Seven: Child Welfare and the Law
- Chapter Eight: Poverty
- Chapter Nine: Educational Advocacy
- Chapter Ten: Trauma and Resilience
- Chapter Eleven: Wrap Up / Next Steps
- Is It Time To Go Home Yet? Conditions for Return and Reunification
- Developing a Well Written Judicial Review Report
- Making The Difference: Preventing Youth Suicide and Promoting Resilience
- Understanding Implicit Bias
Fieldwork is the exciting, practical and most hands-on portion of training that allows you to apply the knowledge and skills gained during online training.
This phase begins with Optima training and the assignment of a case as a provisional guardian ad litem. All fieldwork activities will be performed under the guidance of your peer mentor and child advocacy manager. Completion of this phase concludes pre-service training and results in full certification.
Six pre-service training videos are available for the hearing impaired upon request. These streaming videos feature sign language interpreters and closed captioning.
The training coordinator can provide you with the password to the videos.