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Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions
Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library
State Guardian Ad Litem Board
Function: The State Guardian Ad Litem Board shall create and administer a statewide, independent guardian ad litem program to advocate for the best interests of children, minor parents, and incompetent adults in juvenile and family court cases as defined in Rule 901.01 of the Rules of Guardian Ad Litem Procedure in Juvenile and Family Court matters.
(b) The board shall:
(1) approve and recommend to the legislature a budget for the board and the guardian ad litem program;
(2) establish procedures for distribution of funding under this section to the guardian ad litem program; and
(3) establish guardian ad litem program standards, administrative policies, procedures, and rules consistent with statute, rules of court, and laws that affect a guardian ad litem's work, including the Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act under sections 260.751 to 260.835; the federal Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 under United States Code, title 42, section 662 and amendments; and the federal Indian Child Welfare Act under United States Code, title 25, section 1901 et seq.
(c) The board may:
(1) adopt standards, policies, or procedures necessary to ensure quality advocacy for the best interests of children;
(2) propose statutory changes to the legislature and rule changes to the Supreme Court that are in the best interests of children and the operation of the guardian ad litem program; and
(3) appoint an advisory committee to make recommendations to assist the board in its duties and to report to the board on issues related to the guardian ad litem program.
With guardian services organized on a county-by-county basis, Minnesota is one of 33 states where guardian services are provided locally. Minnesota's Guardian ad Litem program(s) have undergone significant, almost continuous, change in the last seventeen years.
"Sponsored by Rep. Debra Hilstrom (DFL-Brooklyn Center) and Sen. Mee Moua (DFL-St. Paul), a new law transfers the guardian ad litem function from the judicial branch to an independent board. State appropriations currently directed to the courts to oversee the program will also be transferred.
Modeled after the Public Defense Board, which supervises Minnesota's public defender system, the law aims to eliminate the conflict of interest between guardians, who represent the best interest of the child, but are appointed and paid for by the court system." (From: Session Weekly, May 14, 2010, p.9)
The advisory committee shall be subject to the provisions of section 15.059 and shall expire on June 30, 2014.
Seven members comprised of four gubernatorial appointees and three members appointed by the Supreme Court, one of whom must have former guardian ad litem experience. An active judge cannot serve, but a retired one can.
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