Ohio Guardian ad Litem Rule Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Rule 48 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio (Sup. R. 48) sets standards regarding the appointment, responsibilities, training and report requirements of guardians ad litem (GAL) and for the responsibilities of appointing courts. The rule, which became effective March 1, 2009, applies in all domestic relations and juvenile cases in common pleas courts where the court appoints a guardian ad litem to protect and act in the best interest of a child. Sup. R. 48, Division (A). 

The answers on this FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page may quote or paraphrase the language of Sup. R. 48.  The language of the Rule is controlling. Citations to Sup. R. 48 are provided with each answer and in the paragraph above.

  1. Text of Sup. R. 48 as adopted by the Supreme Court of Ohio
  2. How do I qualify for appointment as a GAL?
  3. What is the cost of the Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College GAL courses?
  4. Do I get full credit for a GAL course if I am late or leave early?
  5. Are CLE and CPE credits given at Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College GAL courses?
  6. May I take a course offered by a provider other than the Supreme Court of Ohio or Ohio CASA/GAL Association to meet the education requirements of Sup. R. 48?
  7. I am a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). Am I required to take the training?
  8. Are both attorney and non-attorney GALs required to take the training?
  9. I have taken a GAL course in the past. Will it meet the requirements of Sup. R. 48?
  10. How will I know if I'm confirmed for a Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College course for which I registered?
  11. Whom should I call to cancel my registration for a Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College course?
  12. Whom should I call with questions about the Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College’s GAL education courses?

1. Text of Sup. R. 48 as adopted by the Supreme Court of Ohio.

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2. How do I qualify for appointment as a GAL?

In order to be appointed as a guardian ad litem, you must complete the educational requirements found in Sup. R. 48 (E) and complete the application process established by local courts under Sup. R. 48 (G) in the counties where you wish to serve.

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3. What is the cost of the Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College courses?

The courses are offered free of charge to pre-registered individuals. Attendance at a GAL pre-service course automatically gives the Judicial College permission to share your information with your local area courts for their use in appointing guardians ad litem. Individuals who have already attended a pre-service course or who are not interested in serving as guardians ad litem should not attend.

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4. Do I get full credit for a GAL course if I am late or leave early?

The education requirements in Sup. R. 48 (E) have no provisions for "substantial" completion of a course by attendance for less than the full amount of time required. Participants must attend the full training to receive the stated hours of credit.

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5. Are CLE and CPE credits given at Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College GAL courses?

The GAL courses offered by the Supreme Court of Ohio are designed to meet requirements of the Commission on Continuing Legal Education for continuing legal education credit hours for attorneys and the requirements of the Social Worker, Counselor, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board for professional education units for social workers and counselors.

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6. May I take a course offered by a provider other than the Supreme Court of Ohio or Ohio CASA/GAL Association to meet the education requirements of Sup. R. 48?

Sup. R. 48 (E)(2) provides, "The pre-service training course must be the six hour guardian ad litem pre-service course provided by the Supreme Court of Ohio, the Ohio CASA/GAL Association's pre-service training program, or with prior approval of the appointing court, be a course at least six hours in length that covers the topic areas in division (E) (3)." (Emphasis added).

Please note that The Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College does not approve or pre-approve other organizations’ guardian ad litem course offerings to be in compliance with Sup.R. 48.  Requests to do so cannot be accommodated.

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7. I am a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). Am I required to take the training?

The 30-40 hour Ohio CASA/GAL Association's pre-service training satisfies the educational requirements of Sup. R. 48 for pre-service training and the Ohio CASA/GAL Association's 12 hours of in-service training satisfies the 3 hour continuing education requirement. See the answer to Question No. 9 below.

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8. Are both attorney and non-attorney GALs required to take the training?

Sup. R. 48 (E) requires all guardians ad litem appointed in Juvenile and Domestic Relations courts to comply with the education requirements without distinction based on profession.

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9. I have taken a GAL course in the past. Will it meet the requirements of Sup. R. 48?

Sup. R. 48 (E)(8) states, "Attendance at an Ohio Guardian ad Litem Training Program approved by the Supreme Court of Ohio or at an Ohio CASA/GAL Association pre-service training program at any time prior to the effective date of this rule shall be deemed compliance with the pre-service training requirement."

  1. Completion of the following courses before March 1, 2009 satisfies the pre-service training requirement:
    1. A six hour pre-service course previously offered by The Ohio Network of Children's Advocacy Centers (ONCAC) titled the Ohio Guardian ad Litem Training Program, or
    2. A six hour pre-service course offered by the Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College titled the Ohio Guardian ad Litem Education Program Pre-Service Course, or
    3. The 30-40 hour Ohio CASA/GAL Association's pre-service training.

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10. How will I know if I’m confirmed for a Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College course for which I registered?

The Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College sends registration confirmations about a week before the course date. If you have been placed on a waiting list, you will be notified as soon as possible after you send in your registration. Contact the Judicial College by calling 614.387.9445 if you have questions about a registration submission.

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11. Whom should I call to cancel my registration for a Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College course?

If you cannot attend the course, you MUST notify Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College by noon three days prior to the course.  Late cancellations and “no shows” are still costs incurred by the Supreme Court and will cause other guardians ad litem to be closed out due to space limitations. Call the Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College at 614.387.9445 to cancel your registration.

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12. Whom should I call with questions about the Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College’s GAL education courses?

Call Guardian ad Litem Education Coordinator Melissa Leonard or Judicial College Education Program Manager James Landon at 614.387.9445 with questions regarding our GAL course offerings.

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