The forms found on this page relate to a variety of circumstances. You will find, for example, the Board’s appearance form; a form for use by GALs who have not previously reported in-court-training; a form for requesting reinstatement and recertification after a suspension or revocation of certification; a form for requesting certain temporary certification and a form relating to the surrender or resignation of certification. There are also two forms dealing with the temporary, one-time waiver of experience and continuing education requirements.
A. In-Court Training Requirement
Effective September 15, 2007, a qualification for GAL certification or renewal is that the person have completed 4-hours of in-court training as specified in Gal 303.02 (b) (2). See also Gal 401.10 (e) and Gal 303.02 (a). Many GALs certified before this date have already completed 4 hours of “observation of or participation in, a court case or court cases, involving a child or children or incapacitated adult or adults, except as a party” and have submitted a log of in-court training to the Board. Some GALs, (regardless of whether or not they have already accomplished such training) have not submitted documentation of its completion to the Board. Please note that submission of documentation of the requisite training is a one-time requirement that must be accomplished regardless of a GAL’s regular profession or years in GAL practice.
GALs certified on or after September 15, 2007 will have submitted an initial application form containing a log of the 4 hours of training. GALs certified before September 15, 2007 who have not previously submitted such a log are required to do so at the time of renewal. See Gal 401.09 (w); See also Gal 303.03 and Gal 404.03. A form entitled “In-Court Training Log” is available from the board for this purpose.
B. One-Time Experience and Continuing Education Waiver - Generally
Of particular interest to GALs certified before September 15, 2007 are GAL Form 15 and GAL Form 24 , both of which relate to the one-time experience and continuing education waiver.
New GAL qualifications went into effect on September 15, 2007. One of the new qualifications relates to experience. A specified number of hours of professional or volunteer activity dealing with children or incapacitated adults is required, with the precise number being dependent upon one’s education. See Gal 303.01 (c). Another new qualification relates to continuing education. Generally, 30 continuing education credits must be obtained in the 3-year period preceding a renewal of certification. See Gal 401.10 (f) and Gal 403.01 (a).
Since these and other qualifications were adopted during some GAL’s first period of Board certification, the Board’s rules provide that GALs certified before September 15, 2007 will not immediately be deemed unqualified if they meet the qualifications that were in effect when they were initially certified. All certified GALs will, however, ultimately need to meet the new qualifications. Although GALs initially certified by the Board before September 15, 2007 are not required to meet the new qualification provisions during the remainder of their initial term of certification, they will be required to meet the new qualifications by the time of renewal. See Gal 303.03 and Gal 404.03.
The one-time waiver is intended to allow GALs certified before September 15, 2007 additional time, if necessary, to obtain the new qualifications. The request for a waiver must be made in the 90-day period before the GAL’s initial certification expires. In other words, the request must be made at the time a GAL seeks his or her first renewal of certification.
I. One-Time Waiver of Continuing Education Requirements
In the case of continuing education credits, the waiver is intended to allow the GAL a full 3-year period, if needed, to obtain the 30 credits required for renewal. The maximum duration of the waiver claimed should be a period of time equal to the length of time that a GAL was certified as of September 15, 2007.
EXAMPLE: A GAL first certified on September 15, 2006 applies for renewal in the 90-day period before his or her certification is set to expire (September 15, 2009). That GAL would have had approximately 2 years (i.e. from September 15, 2007 [the date that the requirement went into effect] to September 15, 2009, or the date of the renewal request), rather than 3 years, to complete the 30 credit requirement. To account for this, the GAL might request an additional one year beyond his or her initial period of certification (i.e. until approximately September 15, 2010) to complete the 30 credit requirement.
A GAL completing the continuing education requirement pursuant to a waiver will do so during the person’s first period of renewal; a period when he or she should also be seeking the credits that would be required toward his or her second period of renewal. Accordingly, a GAL who is granted a waiver should simultaneously work on both the credits that are subject to the waiver and the 30 credits that will be required for the next renewal. The waiver simply allows additional time in which to obtain the credits for one’s first renewal. It does not relieve the GAL of the responsibility of obtaining the normal number of credits required for the next certification period.
Additional information concerning the waiver of continuing education requirements may be found in the Board’s rules and on Gal Form 15 (“Request for One-Time Experience and Continuing Education Waiver”). See also “Request for Altertion of Time in Which to Complete Continuing Education”.
Once the GAL has completed the required credits subject to the one-time waiver, he or she must inform the Board that the credits have been obtained. GAL Form 24 may be used to make this report.
II. One-Time Waiver of Professional and Volunteer Experience Requirements
On September 15, 2007, the possession of certain professional and volunteer experience became a qualification for certification. Generally, to obtain either new or renewed certification as a GAL, a person holding an associate’s degree is required to have 5 years of experience in professional or volunteer activities dealing with children or incapacitated adults (200 hours of experience in each year). Three years experience is be required for those with a bachelor’s degree. One year of experience is required for those with an advanced degree beyond a bachelor’s.
Many persons certified as a GAL before September 15, 2007 will already possess the requisite experience. Those GALs will report this experience to the Board at the time of their first request for renewal. The one-time waiver is intended to allow GALs certified before September 15, 2007 who do not have the requisite experience a period of time in which to obtain that experience. See Gal 401.11. GALs who do not have the requisite experience as of September 15, 2007 should swiftly work toward the completion of that experience. Please note that the years of experience at issue need not be consecutive and that the experience of actual service as a GAL would generally count toward the requirement.
The maximum period of waiver required in order to afford a GAL sufficient time to complete or obtain the requisite experience will vary depending upon a GAL’s particular circumstances. Generally, the following formula may be used to calculate the an appropriate period of waiver:
The waiver period is a period of time after the expiration of the GAL’s initial (first) certification equal to:
- The required number of years of experience;
- Minus the number of years of experience possessed as of September 15, 2007;
- Minus the amount of time that existed between September 15, 2007 and the expiration of the initial period of certification.
EXAMPLE: A GAL who possesses a bachelor’s degree but none of the required experience is first certified on September 15, 2006. He or she is required to have 3 years of professional or volunteer experience. The GAL applies for renewal in the 90-day period before his or her certification is set to expire (September 15, 2009). He or she would have had approximately 2 years (from September 15, 2007 [the date that the requirement went into effect] to September 15, 2009, or the date of the renewal request) to work toward obtaining the requisite 3 years of experience. The GAL might request an additional period of one year beyond his or her initial period of certification (i.e. until approximately September 15, 2010) to complete the requirement.
If the GAL described above possessed an associate’s degree, the person might request a waiver for 3 years beyond his or her initial period of certification [5 years required experience, minus 0 years experience possessed, minus the 2 years that existed between September 2007 and September 2009].
If the GAL possessed an advanced degree beyond a bachelor’s, no waiver might be required. [1 year of experience required, minus 0 years experience possessed, minus the 2 years that existed between September 2007 and September 2009 [during which time the GAL should work toward the experience requirement] = no additional period required].
Additional information concerning the waiver of experience requirements may be found in the Board’s rules and on Gal Form 15 (“Request for One-Time Experience and Continuing Education Waiver”).
Once the GAL has completed the required experience subject to the waiver, he or she must inform the Board that that experience has been obtained. GAL Form 24 may be used to make this report.
The foregoing information is simply intended as a synopsis of some of the Board’s requirements and processes. It is not a verbatim recitation of all applicable rules and statutes. Those interested or involved in the matters addressed above should consult the specific laws or rules at issue.
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