Representation of Children in Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings - Arizona

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Making The Appointment

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-221(A, B, G)

The court shall appoint an attorney for a child in all dependency or termination of parental rights proceedings that are conducted pursuant to this title. The court shall appoint the attorney before the first hearing. The attorney shall represent the child at all stages of the proceedings and, in a dependency proceeding, through permanency.

If a juvenile, parent, or guardian is found to be indigent and entitled to counsel, the juvenile court shall appoint an attorney to represent the person or persons unless the person knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waives counsel.

In all juvenile court proceedings in which the dependency petition includes an allegation that the juvenile is abused or neglected, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to protect the juvenile's best interests. This GAL shall be an attorney. The GAL is not the child's attorney.

The Use of Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs)

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 8-523; 8-524

The CASA program is established in the Administrative Office of the Supreme Court. The program shall establish local special-advocate programs in each county.

The supreme court shall adopt rules prescribing the establishment of local programs and the minimum performance standards of these programs.

The CASA fund consists of moneys received pursuant to § 5-568 (from unclaimed prizes from the State lottery). The fund is subject to annual legislative appropriation. Moneys appropriated by the legislature from the CASA fund for the CASA program shall be used by the supreme court to operate, improve, maintain, and enhance the program.

Qualifications/Training

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Specific Duties

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-221(H)

The GAL or attorney for a juvenile shall meet with the juvenile before the preliminary protective hearing, if possible, or within 14 days after the preliminary protective hearing. The GAL or attorney for the juvenile also shall meet with the juvenile before all substantive hearings. Upon a showing of extraordinary circumstances, the judge may modify this requirement for any substantive hearing.

How the Representative Is Compensated

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-221(D-E)

The county board of supervisors may fix a reasonable sum to be paid by the county for the services of an appointed attorney.

If the court finds that the parent or guardian of a juvenile has sufficient financial resources to reimburse, at least in part, the costs of the services of an attorney appointed pursuant to this section, the court shall order the parent or guardian to pay to the appointed attorney or the county, through the clerk of the court, an amount that the parent or guardian is able to pay without incurring substantial hardship to the family.