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​Lawyer-Guardian Ad Litem (LGAL) Trainings and Resources

In a child welfare case, the lawyer-guardian ad litem (LGAL) has the critical role of representing the child’s best interests. The State Court Administrative Office Child Welfare Services Division (SCAO-CWS) is committed to advancing the skills of Michigan LGALs.  Below is a list of resources, trainings, and recorded webinars with correlating training materials for you to view at your convenience.
The federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act requires LGALs to receive trainings before accepting a court appointment in a child protective proceeding.  In addition, MCL 712A.17d requires LGALs to participate in training in early childhood, child, and adolescent development.

Michigan Lawyer-Guardian Ad Litem Online Training

In an effort to ensure LGALs in Michigan have access to training specific to their role, as well as adhere to both federal and state law LGAL training requirements, SCAO Child Welfare Services has developed an online, comprehensive, self-paced training program. The tra​ining is hosted on SCAO’s Learning Management System (LMS), which will allow SCAO to track and keep records of attorney participation.

There are 5 training modules, which may take a total of approximately 2-3 hours to complete.  Participants can access the training course at any time and can complete the modules in segments. For LGALs already proficient in the learning objectives, a test out option is available. To successfully test out of a module, the LGAL must receive a score of 80% or higher on each module test. The training modules include:

    1. Meeting and Communicating with your Client
    2. Conducting an Independent Investigation
    3. Advocacy in Court
    4. Child Development
    5. Cultural Competency and Trauma

To create an account and enroll in the free training course, please click here.

For more detailed information on how to create an account in SCAO’s LMS and enroll in the online training, please click here​.

Recorded Trainings:

2018 Web-based Meet-up Series: Hearing-by-Hearing Legal Representation & Advocacy Techniques for Attorneys in Child Protective Proceedings 



​Staff Contact

Elizabeth Henderson
(517) 373-2621
Kate McPherson
(517) 373-5322