Last Wednesday I was part of a team invited to address judges, lawyers, professors and other officials from developing nations about child abuse, child trauma and specifically, the CASA guardian ad litem program that was of most of interest to them on their visit to Minneapolis.

Guardian ad litem program manager Laurie Kusek explained recruiting, training and the nuts and bolts of how guardians ad litem advocate for children in the complex institutional system of child protection.

*CASAMN board member and attorney Joseph Winebrenner explained how our courts function with GALs and the how and why they are an effective voice for abused children in the proceedings.

My words were about the impact of trauma on children and how GALs interrupt that trauma and that community members want to help and how volunteers just need a path and training to save kids from trauma and abuse.

I have great hope that these smart, committed professionals succeeded on their extensive U.S. journey learning about the many moving parts of justice, child rights, courts, domestic violence, child protection systems, child advocacy, foster care/adoption and children’s mental health.

It was an honor to speak with these people and uplifting to know that the CASA guardian ad Litem program is identified all over the world as a powerful voice for children and that any nation can create this program to save vulnerable children.

Thanks to the U.S. State Department for this International Leadership Program, Faegre Baker Daniels Law firm and Minnesota’s own Global MN for making this important meeting happen

*CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocate (for the child)