Social Work

Stephanie Calson

I am employed by the State of Minnesota 6th Judicial District as a guardian ad litem. My work involves conducting an independent investigation as to the circumstances and best interests of the children I am appointed to and then advocating for their best interests in juvenile or family court. I visit children in their homes, foster homes, or treatment settings on a regular basis as long as their case is in court. I also stay in regular contact with parents, foster parents, social workers, school staff, therapists, treatment center staff, or other caregivers and service providers. I write court reports for each hearing in order to provide information to the court and make recommendations about what may be in a child’s best interests. I also attend all the court hearings in order to advocate for the child’s best interests, and, if a case goes to trial, I provide testimony regarding my investigation and recommendations. The cases I am appointed to are in a single courthouse (Duluth, Minnesota), but I travel regionally in order to visit children and families who may be located elsewhere in the state, depending on the circumstances of the case. I have been working as a guardian ad litem for 8 years. Prior to that, I was at home with our young children for a number of years. Prior to that, in the late 1990s, I worked as a caseworker at a refugee resettlement agency in Trenton, New Jersey, assisting families throughout the state who had arrived with refugee immigration status. During the years I worked there, the largest communities in my caseload were from Bosnia and Liberia. My work primarily involved helping families find housing, jobs, health care, education, and other needed services as they arrived into the country and worked to become established in New Jersey. Continue reading »