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Guardian ad Litem Success Story 7

Guardian ad Litem for Kids’ Voice finds safe and stable long-term placement for 8-year-old girl through guardianship by Grandmother.

Marion Superior Court, Civil Division, Room Seven, appointed Kids’ Voice to serve as the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) for 8-year-old Tammy, who had been physically abused by Peter, boyfriend of Tammy’s mother Amanda. Peter had pushed Tammy down a flight of stairs in their home. In addition, Tammy had witnessed Peter abuse Amanda. Katie, the Kids’ Voice attorney, assigned Tammy’s case to a volunteer attorney GAL. Tammy’s Paternal Grandmother, Alisha, petitioned the court to become Tammy’s guardian on a temporary basis. Amanda contested Alisha’s guardianship petition and promised the judge that she would move out of Peter’s home and no longer be involved with him.

During her investigation, the GAL learned that, if Tammy moved to Alisha’s home, Tammy would have to change schools for the fourth time in two years. The GAL discovered that if Tammy lived with her Maternal Grandmother, Irene, she could be safe and attend the same school.  Kids’ Voice presented a recommendation to the Court that Alisha and Irene could share temporary guardianship of Tammy until Amanda’s home was safe.

The Court adopted the GAL’s recommendations and allowed Irene to have Tammy during the school week so she could attend the same school, while Tammy spent weekends and school holidays with Alisha. This allowed Tammy to spend time with both extended families. In addition, the Court ordered that Tammy could have parenting time with Amanda, but Peter could not have contact with Tammy. When it was time for the Court to review the temporary arrangement, the GAL learned that Amanda had moved to Ohio with Peter.

During her testimony, which was presented by Katie, the GAL informed the Court that the shared guardianship was working very well, Tammy was attending counseling and was very happy, and Alisha and Irene were working together splendidly. Based on this information, the guardianship situation that was recommended by the GAL was made permanent by the Court. Tammy is now in a safe and stable long-term placement.