"Appointed and empowered directly by the courts, CASA/GAL volunteers advocate for a child’s best interest by providing critical information to judges about the child’s needs and well-being to help the judge make the most well-informed decision. The CASA/GAL model has expanded during the past 40 years, and CASA/GAL programs have established themselves and their volunteers as trusted partners with the courts and child welfare professionals. State statutes (and local court rules) specify when the court must appoint a legal representative of best interest to advocate for a child who is involved in an abuse and neglect proceeding and whom the court may appoint. States have differing models of providing best interest advocacy for children involved in the judicial system due to abuse and neglect, including the CASA/GAL and Friend of the Court (FOC) model."
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