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Guardian Ad Litem Division

Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee

10201 Watertown Plank Rd.
Wauwatosa, WI 53226
Telephone: (414) 257-7159
Fax: (414) 257-7742

100% Children's Law

Since 1980, the Legal Aid Society has provided guardian ad litem (GAL) representation primarily for abused or neglected children. Children's Court attorneys represent children in guardianship cases, children in need of protection or services (CHIPS) and children in termination of parental rights (TPR) matters. A GAL represents the interest of children in these cases, not the interest of either parent.

The Guardian ad Litem Division represents about 5000 children annually in Children's Court and Family Court matters. Legal Aid Society attorneys are appointed by the court to represent the best interests of the children, not those of the parents or custodians.

Kids Matter Inc.

1850 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Ste. 202
Milwaukee, WI 53208
Telephone: (414) 344-1220
Fax: (414) 344-1230

Kids Matter Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving life opportunities and outcomes for children in foster and kinship care. There are more than 2,500 Milwaukee children in foster care. According to the recent census, more than 20,000 additional children are being raised by someone who is not the child's parent - typically a grandparent, relative or family friend. These caregivers often need brief legal help so that they can obtain medical care, special education or counseling services for the children in their care. Kids Matter provides opportunities for volunteer attorneys and law students through several initiatives.

Fostering Healing: This program provides assistance to children who have been victims of crime or violence. A wide range of legal issues can come up for children under these circumstances: From child abuse restraining orders, estate issues, retirement questions from grandparents raising grandchildren to children who do not have first names on their birth certificates or need a name changed, each child and family has their own set of needs that may require legal expertise.

Volunteer Lawyer Project: This program connects volunteer attorneys with caregivers to assist with obtaining guardianships and accessing benefits such as medical care, kinship and special education.

Second Acts Mediation Project: Second Acts is a national pilot program designed to support attorneys transitioning into second careers and help them find social justice volunteer work that suits their high-levels of expertise. The Pro Bono Institute at Georgetown University Law Center has selected Kids Matter to take part in this volunteer attorney project designed to make the connection between senior attorneys and challenges that need their leadership. The program is intended to match experienced attorneys with expanded pro bono service opportunities.

Kids Matter CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate): Through the CASA program, highly trained community volunteers are court-appointed to be an advocate for an individual child or sibling group in the child welfare system. This program welcomes attorney volunteers who want to assist with volunteer training or providing occasional legal information to volunteers.