Training Videos for Guardians ad Litem

The training videos and reading assignments below are no longer the recommended curriculum for Basic GAL credit. Please see the information on the right hand side of this page for more information about the new training curriculum!

GAL 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 have questions about how to report completion of this training for GAL or MCLE credit, please contact the MCLE Commission at 402.471.3137.

"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."

New Training Curriculum Available Soon!

PLEASE NOTE: The Administrative Office of the Court will be releasing a newly designed online Basic GAL curriculum on or by April 1, 2014. Attorneys wishing to earn their Basic GAL credit, should contact Carole McMahon-Boies with the AOC for more information (, 402.471.3137). If you require training before that date, please contact Sarah Frankel (