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Guardians ad Litem Online Basic Training

PLEASE NOTE: Attorneys who complete this training will appear on the Supreme Court's Approved GAL list. This training is required for the initial six hours of GAL credit only. Attorneys seeking their 3 hour advanced credit should not sign up or participate in this training. Other trainings are available to fulfill 3 hour advanced credit. For other training opportunities, click here.

The Court Improvement Project has maintained a list of attorneys who are documented to have completed Basic GAL Training since 2007. If you are unsure whether or not you've taken this 6 credit hour basic training, consult this list. If your name is on this list, you should take 3 hours of advanced training, not the 6 credit hour basic training. Be advised, this is NOT a list of attorneys who are currently eligible for GAL appointments.


GAL Online Basic Training Agenda


You need to view each presentation listed below. You do not need to watch them in any specific order.
  1. Overview of the Juvenile Court System By Jon M. Braaten. 37 min 46 sec (Updated 2011)
  2. Case and Statute Review By Mark Ells, J.D. 99 min 54 sec (Updated 2011)
  3. Advocating for Children By Mark Ells, J.D. 17 min 03 sec
    This presentation may be difficult to hear. We suggest using headphones. If you choose to turn up your computer's volume, please remember to turn it down once completing the presentation.
  4. Talking to Children By Dr. Barbara Sturgis. 27 min 57 sec
  5. Child Maltreatment, Relationships, Child Development By Dr. Gregg Wright. 50 min 45 sec

Reading Assignments:

From the Book: Child Welfare Law and Practice (Ventrell and Duquette, Eds.)

Assigned readings to complete training: These are minimum assignments to address the learning objectives of the training. There are many other sections of this comprehensive volume that are useful and we recommend that guardians ad litem regularly use this book as a resource.

Relevant state and federal statutes
199-230 (Federal Statutes)
231-255 (Federal Case Law)

Child Maltreatment in the Context of Other Factors
15-36 (Physical, Sexual and Emotional Child Abuse and Neglect)
123-128 (Family Dynamics in Child Maltreatment)
140-144 (Cultural Context)
7-9 (Poverty, Race, and Maltreatment)

Child developmental considerations
61-84 (Impact of Child Development on Maltreatment)

Advocating for children
683-714 (Trial Advocacy)
291-319 (Safety)
525-542 (Permanency)

NE SUPREME COURT RULE REGARDING GUARDIAN AD LITEM TRAINING FOR ATTORNEYS: Commencing January 1, 2008, an attorney to be appointed by the courts as a guardian ad litem for a juvenile in a proceeding brought under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-247(3)(a) of the Nebraska Juvenile Code shall have completed six (6) hours of specialized training provided by the Administrative Office of the Court (see Appendix A). Thereafter, in order to maintain eligibility to be appointed and to serve as a guardian ad litem, an attorney shall complete three (3) hours of specialized training per year as provided by the Administrative Office of the Court. Courts shall appoint attorneys trained under this rule in all § 43-247(3)(a) cases when available; provided, however, that if the judge determines that an attorney with the training required herein is unavailable within the county, he or she may appoint an attorney without such training.

If you are applying for GAL credit on your MCLE profile, please see the following instructions issued by the MCLE Commission:

"Please use the function "Apply for Guardian Ad Litem Approval" from within your personal account on Nebraska MCLE Online to request GAL appointee status and/or to have your current status extended for another year. This function/application does ask for a certificate of attendance to be attached. But, we will accept a personal statement as the attachment. Please be sure to indicate the course you took, course sponsor and course activity number in your statement to expedite your request. Your application essentially initiates a review of your record/current transcript by which we will confirm whether or not you can be approved for GAL appointee status and/or if your current appointment can be extended for another year."

Complete this training for GAL Eligibility & 6 MCLE credits

Instructions for taking this On Demand training:

1) Register online and complete payment of $65

2) Materials will be sent to the address on your registration form and payment confirmation will be sent to the e-mail address on your registration form. Note: It is very important that these components of your registration are accurate.

3) After you've received your materials, complete the training modules listed on the right side of this page.

4) After completion of the training, fill out the Attestation of Completion form (you will need your payment ID which was e-mailed to you in step 2 of this process).

*Questions about how to use this website? Please contact Melissa Townsend.

*Questions regarding the content of this presentation can be sent directly to the trainers.

Jon M. Braaten, J.D.
Dr. Barbara Sturgis
Dr. Gregg Wright
Mark Ells, J.D.