Children have a right to live free from hunger, abuse, neglect, and other inhumane conditions. Therefore, they must also have the opportunity to participate in the political and legal decisions that affect them. The Law Office of Maha A. ELKolalli, P.L. is prepared to act on behalf of children in the capacity of attorney ad litem. In this capacity, the attorney represents what the child wants so the he/she may have a voice in the court. For example, children may need representation when they are in the foster care system or when they will be involuntarily placed in residential treatment facilities.
It should be noted that when children are in foster care, they may be provided with a guardian ad litem (GAL). The GAL plays the role of advocating for the child’s “best interest.” This is significantly different than the role of an attorney ad litem (AAL). Sometimes children in care have a completely different view of what they feel is in their best interest. An AAL is literally in the courtroom advocating for what the child “wants”. These issues can address any matter including permanency goals, placement, participation in sports and other activities, health care, mental health treatment, and independent living services. No one knows and understands what a child has been through more than the child. It is absolutely critical to listen to what they have to say, both inside the courtroom and outside.
The Law Office of Maha A. ELKolalli, P.L. will advocate on behalf of children in foster care and the disabled. This vulnerable population is often sexually victimized or physically injured while in care. When individuals are injured in care, they may assert negligence claims, wrongful death claims, and Florida Statute section 393.13 claims.