Office of Public Advocacy
The Alaska Legislature founded the Office of Public Advocacy in 1984. One of OPA's primary functions is to serve as guardian ad litem for children in court cases. Before OPA was founded the court system provided guardian ad litem services to children in the state. OPA has staff offices in Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks and a satellite office in Palmer (supervised by the Anchorage office). In areas of the state where there are not staff offices, OPA retains contract GALs to represent children. OPA screens and trains staff and contract GALs before they are assigned cases.
In 1987 a group of OPA employees founded the Alaska chapter of the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program http://www.alaskacasa.org/ to recruit, screen, and train community members as volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children in state custody. There are CASA programs in Anchorage, Palmer, Fairbanks, and Juneau.