There is a deliberate loophole in the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act which allows states to assign GALs – also known as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) – to any child who is removed from an abuse or neglect situation. CASAs are not lawyers. Rather, they are volunteers. This means vulnerable children are devoid of the support of actual legal counsel, while their accused abuser is guaranteed such representation.
Our current project is to research and draft legislation which will close said loopholes, and require states to appoint actual attorneys.
To learn more about CASAs, please visit Andrew Vachss’ The Zero site by clicking here.