Crafting an Advocate for a Child: In Support of Legislation Redefining the Role of the Guardian ad Litem in Michigan Child Abuse and Neglect Cases

Michigan’s current statutory system leaves the role of the child’s attorney unclear. In this Note, Hartmann advocates the adoption of a legislative proposal that will redefine the role of the child’s attorney. The proposal specifies that the child’s primary legal representative should be a guardian ad litem who will represent the best interests of the child. Hartmann begins by describing the current system and then analyzes how the proposal will modify the role of the child’s attorney. Hartmann argues that the proposed changes would be highly beneficial and identifies specific points of improvement. Hartmann concludes by suggesting several reforms to improve the child welfare system in Michigan.