Guardians Ad Litem and Children's Attorneys in Arizona: A Qualitative Examination of the Roles

Jennifer E. Duchschere, Connie J A Beck, Rebecca M. Stahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


An ongoing debate exists with little research support concerning the differences in the roles of guardians ad litem (GAL) and children's attorneys (CA) in dependency cases. Through qualitative interviews, this study examined GALs’ and CAs’ perceptions and execution of roles. Both executed their roles similarly and agreed the best interests of the child and the child's wishes are important. Shared goals included child safety, ensuring the child's voice is heard, keeping the family together, and minimizing the distress to the child. Challenges to executing their roles were often systemic, including overwhelmed courts and lack of community resources to serve clients’ needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-52
Number of pages20
JournalJuvenile and Family Court Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017



  • best interests
  • child welfare
  • children's attorneys
  • children's wishes
  • client-directed
  • dependency
  • guardians ad litem
  • juvenile
  • qualitative research
  • representing children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law

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