Specified Public Law Proceedings

Information for families – specified public law proceedings

When is a Guardian Ad Litem appointed?
The Court has to consider appointing a Guardian Ad Litem if it is dealing with any of the following specified public law proceedings including:

  • Care or Supervision Orders
  • Child Assessment or Emergency Protection Orders
  • Contact Orders relating to Children in Care
  • Residence Orders for Children already in Care
  • Placement of Young People in Secure Accommodation

What does a Guardian Ad Litem do?
The most important task for the Guardian Ad Litem is to write a Court report with recommendations about the future care of your child. The Guardian Ad Litem appoints a Solicitor for your child unless there is already a Solicitor involved. This is to make sure that your child’s legal rights have been fully considered.

The Guardian Ad Litem will instruct the Solicitor in your child’s best interests if your child is too young. If your child has sufficient understanding of the Court process and about any future plans they may be able to instruct the Solicitor themselves.

The Guardian Ad Litem will ask you about your child. They will meet your child and talk to him/her about what they would like to see happen. The Guardian Ad Litem will meet the Social Worker from the Social Services office and talk to them about your child. They will ask to see the files and records and find out what they are planning.

The Guardian Ad Litem may also attend any meeting regarding your child and will meet anyone else they may think is important.

After doing all of this the Guardian Ad Litem will write their report for Court. The report is Confidential and belongs to the Court. It will be given to all of the parties and/or their Solicitors before the Court hearing.