Representation of Children as a Guardian Ad Litem — 2018 Qualifying Course

MCLE Credits: 7.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

Live on Site: Wednesday, September 12 / Richmond
Registration: 8:00 a.m.
Program: 8:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.
MCLE Credit: 7.0 (Ethics: 0.0; GAL Child: 7.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 7.0 Live Interactive MCLE Credit Symbol
Video on Site Options


Why Attend?

Topics to be covered include:
  • Explanation of the qualification process for GALs for Children
  • Roles, responsibilities, and duties of GAL representation; review of the Standards to Govern the Performance of Guardians Ad Litem for Children
  • Role of local departments of Social Services and community partners in child dependency cases
  • Laws governing child abuse and neglect, foster care case review, permanency planning, termination of parental rights, and entrustments
  • Practical aspects of GAL representation and considerations for GALs appointed in custody and visitation cases
  • Characteristics of abusive and neglectful families and of children who are victims; physical, medical, and mental health aspects of child abuse and neglect
  • Developmental needs of children: Communication with children, children as witnesses, use of closed circuit television

This program is supported by the Court Improvement Program, Office of the Executive Secretary, Supreme Court of Virginia, through federal grant funds of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This is the training course you MUST take to qualify as a GAL for Children in Virginia.

GAL for Children Qualifying Credit Hours: 7.0

GAL Information


To be appointed as a guardian ad litem for children in Virginia, members of the bar must meet the standards set forth by the Judicial Council of Virginia. This seven-hour course meets the training requirement under these standards. All attorneys who wish to qualify for court appointment as GALs for children in Virginia must take this course.

For more information on becoming a GAL for children in Virginia, please contact the Office of the Executive Secretary, Supreme Court of Virginia, 100 North Ninth Street, Third Floor, Richmond, Virginia 23219, (804) 786-6455, or visit this website:

This program is not eligible for discounts.
Can't Attend?
Attend one of the 7 video replays offered statewide in January, March, June, and September of 2019.
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8:00 Registration
8:30 Explanation of the Qualification Process for Guardians Ad Litem for Children
Sandra L. Karison
9:00 Roles, Responsibilities, and Duties of Guardian Ad Litem Representation; Review of the Standards to Govern the Performance of Guardians Ad Litem for Children
Hon. Thomas P. Sotelo
10:15 Break
10:25 Role of Local Departments of Social Services and Community Partners in Child Dependency Cases
Hon. Thomas P. Sotelo, Moderator, Melissa O’Neill, Patricia A. Popp, Eric J. Reynolds
11:25 Break
11:35 Laws Governing Child Abuse and Neglect, Foster Care Case Review, Permanency Planning, Termination of Parental Rights, and Entrustments
Sandra L. Karison
12:35 Lunch (provided at live program only)
1:30 Practical Aspects of Guardian Ad Litem Representation and Considerations for Guardians Ad Litem Appointed in Custody and Visitation Cases
Leslie A.T. Haley
2:30 Break
2:40 Characteristics of Abusive and Neglectful Families and of Children Who Are Victims; Physical, Medical, and Mental Health Aspects of Child Abuse and Neglect
Allison Sampson-Jackson
4:00 Break
4:10 Developmental Needs of Children:  Communication with Children, Children as Witnesses, Use of Closed Circuit Television
Jennifer M. Newman, Marcella Rustioni
5:15 Adjourn



Hon. Thomas P. Sotelo, Judge, Fairfax Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court / Fairfax
Leslie A.T. Haley, Park Haley LLP / Richmond
Sandra L. Karison, Director, Court Improvement Program, Office of the Executive Secretary, Supreme Court of Virginia / Richmond
Jennifer M. Newman, Law Office of Jennifer M. Newman, PC / Richmond
Melissa O'Neill, CASA Program Coordinator, Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services / Richmond
Patricia A. Popp, PhD, State Coordinator, Project HOPE-VA, Clinical Associate Professor, School of Education, The College of William and Mary / Williamsburg
Eric J. Reynolds, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General / Richmond
Marcella Rustioni, LCSW, DCFI, Arlington County Child Advocacy Center / Arlington
Dr. Allison Sampson-Jackson, PhD, LCSW, LICSW, CSOTP, Integration Solutions, Inc. / Richmond


Sandra L. Karison
, Director, Court Improvement Program, Office of the Executive Secretary, Supreme Court of Virginia / Richmond

Locations, Dates and Fees

LIVE REGISTRATION FEES (Lunch included at live program only)

$150 regular registration (printed materials included).
$165 on-site registration (if space is available) (printed materials included).


Richmond / Monday, September 12
Holiday Inn Richmond Airport (Venue Website / Google Map)
445 International Center Dr.
(804) 236-1111

A special 15% discount and free shipping on Virginia CLE®–published books will be available for purchases made at the seminar site.

Cancellation/transfer requests will be honored through 5:00 p.m. of the DAY BEFORE the seminar. 

If you have a disability that requires special accommodation, please contact Virginia CLE® well in advance of the program date.

Private recording of this program is prohibited.

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