Separate Representation for the Child
In proceedings concerning State intervention in the family, depending upon the circumstances and the views of the Court, a child can attend the court hearing(s) and give evidence. The child can be made a named party to the proceedings; can be separately legally represented; or a Guardian ad Litem can be appointed by the court to speak on behalf of the child. The decision to take one or more of these actions is very much at the discretion of the court.
A Guardian ad Litem is an independent person who is appointed to represent the wishes, views and interests of the child. Although the Guardian ad Litem is independent of the parties to the court proceedings, the fees of the Guardian ad Litem are discharged by the Child and Family Agency, as required by law. By way of example, details of the Barnardos Guardian ad Litem Service provide an insight into the workings of the Guardian ad Litem service.