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Guardian’s ad Litem advocate for the best interests of children in juvenile protection cases, ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act) cases and some family court cases.  Guardians ad Litem are appointed by the court and in juvenile court are typically assigned for the entire length of the case. 
The Guardian ad Litem conducts an independent investigation and provides recommendations to the court. The Guardian ad Litem’s sole responsibility is to advocate for the best interests of the child.
The Guardian ad Litem is not a legal guardian for the child and has no control over the person or property of the child. The Guardian ad Litem does not provide a home for the child. The Guardian ad Litem does not function as the child's attorney and does not provide direct services to the child.
Guardians Ad Litem observes the children and significant people in their lives and talks to family to learn about the child and the child's important relationships. The Guardian ad Litem is also required to review relevant records and reports. They attend meetings with the other professionals involved with the children and their families. They outline options and make written and oral recommendations in court regarding the short and long-term best interests of children. They monitor court ordered plans to ensure the children's best interests are being met. 
The Guardian ad Litem does not make decisions about the child's future, but provides recommendations to the court to enable the court to make the best possible decision.
Guardians ad Litem in Minnesota include specially trained community volunteers and state employees.
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