Court / Terms

Our Mission:

15th Judicial Circuit CASA partners with the CASA community to be a voice for abused and neglected children through the power of volunteer advocacy and change in the child protection system.
Probate Court:
Private Guardianship Cases-CASA is appointed by the Judge in Probate Court to be the guardian ad litem in private guardianship cases involving minors under 18 years of age.

CASA recruits, trains and supervises community volunteers to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates for children in abuse and neglect cases as well as children who are the subjects of petitions for private guardianship.  They are appointed by the Juvenile Court or Probate Judges to be the Guardian ad Litem (GAL).  Every volunteer is screened by application, interviewed and then given a background check before participating in a 40-hour training program.

Role of the CASA/GAL in Private Guardianship Cases:
  • Visit the home of and interview the prospective legal guardian(s)
  • Submit background check information of the prospective guardians to DCFS
  • Interview or observe the minor(s)
  • Interview the parent(s) if possible
  • Interview any other relevant parties
  • Submit a written report to the court
  • Attend any court hearings
Guardians are granted authority and responsibility to care for a child or children and may:
  • Consent to medical treatment
  • Authorize school enrollment
  • Obtain legal documents such as birth certificates
  • Prohibit parents from taking custody of the minors without court consent
Parents retain rights to:
  • Contest the guardian’s authority
  • Petition the court for return of custody
  • Reasonable visitation