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Guardian ad Litem Success Story 15

Thanks to the Kids’ Voice Guardian ad Litem’s continued monitoring, advocacy, and encouragement, a troubled 11-year-old boy is now on track to graduate from high school and pursue a technical education.

Nick was 11 years old when his parents, Oscar and Angela, filed for divorce. The court appointed Kids’ Voice to represent Nick’s best interests as his GAL. Emily, the Kids’ Voice attorney, assigned the case to a retired school principal who volunteered to serve as Nick’s GAL. Nick had been home-schooled, and the GAL discovered that Nick’s academic knowledge and skills were at a level much lower than Nick’s chronological age. The GAL advised Oscar, who had temporary custody of Nick, to enroll Nick in school and to request that the school test Nick to see if he qualified for Special Education services. For a while, the GAL observed that Nick was having difficulties in adjusting to school. The GAL recommended that Oscar and Angela enroll Nick in private tutoring.

When Nick moved to middle school, the GAL interviewed Nick’s new teachers and told them about the services Nick had been receiving. By the time Nick was 13, the teachers at middle school informed the GAL that Nick’s grades and academic skills had improved dramatically. The GAL recommended to Oscar and Angela that Nick continue to work with his private tutor and that Nick start working with a Reading and Recovery specialist at his new school.

Nearly two years after the GAL began representing Nick’s best interests, Oscar and Angela had established good patterns of parental involvement in his education. The GAL, assisted by Emily, helped Oscar and Angela reach an agreement on their custody dispute, which revolved around Nick’s educational needs and was approved by the court. Thanks to the GAL’s continued monitoring, advocacy, and encouragement to the family, Nick is on track to graduate from high school and pursue technical education at IVY Tech to become an electrician. Nick plans to be able to support himself and give back to the community when he becomes an adult.