November 2, 2007
Extreme training for GALs and family practitioners
The role of the Guardian ad Litem has changed over the years, making the job of representing clients more difficult while dealing with the ethical issues of serving as a Guardian. Four experienced practitioners put their heads together to design “Advanced Issues for Guardians ad Litem,” Monday, November 12, 9 a.m. until 4:30 to address the role of the Guardian ad Litem in 2007 and Beyond in addition to other topics which greatly influence their role in representing clients. The session is scheduled on a day the court is closed so interested practitioners will be able to attend.
Organizers for the event, Sterphanie L. Gibson, Susan M. Kenney-Pfalzer, Clarence E. Mingo, and James J. Pardi, have assembled a cast of professionals whose expertise will assist any practitioner regardless of experience level. An in-depth session dealing with substance abuse issues in cases kicks off the full-day seminar with a discussion of how to determine and what to do if substance abuse is suspected, assessment and outpatient treatment, and obtaining orders for screening, assessments, and treatment options for parents and other parties. This session will be conducted by Ronald L. Pogue of CompDrug; and Sue Ann Palumbo and Parilu Ward from Focus Health Care along with Mr. Pardi.
Working with mental health professionals as a Guardian ad Litem will feature psychologist David Lowenstein and Clarence Mingo as they examine a psychologist’s role in a domestic case. Mr. Mingo shares, "The seminar will assist GALs towards a better understanding of the role they play in requesting, arranging, and using mental health evaluations to further the best interest of their wards.”
The seminar will also address the Guardian ad Litem home visit. “We will discuss the various opinions that exist among those of us who practice as GALs on the importance of the home visit, as well as the different approaches taken in conducting home visits. Some GALs use social workers to conduct the home visits for them, some GALs are very thorough in their home visits, even looking in the refrigerator and medicine cabinets, and some GALs don't feel that home visits are necessary at all. This is one area in which my colleagues tend to have very strong opinions, and I'm looking forward to discussing the pros and cons of the different approaches," states Sue Kenney-Pfalzer.
Ethical issues and immunity regarding the Guardian ad Litem will be addressed by Stephen W. Daulton who lectures frequently on the topics of domestic relations and professionalism, followed by a discussion of accessing necessary records from FCCS and other child welfare agencies as well as medical and school records with Stephanie L. Gibson.
This seminar attaches 5.5 hours of CLE credit, including 0.5 ethics and 0.5 substance abuse credit as well as 5.0 hours of Domestic Relations Specialist Credit. Lunch will be provided by Focus Health Care, and during lunch, registrants are invited to attend the Family Law Committee meeting for discussion of the proposed spousal support statute.
Register online here or by phone at 614/221.4112 for event #3727. The cost is $195 prepaid/$210 day of for members, $235 prepaid/$250 day of for non-members and $115 prepaid/$130 day of for paralegals.