In contested custody and visitation matters, courts frequently appoint G.A.L.s for the children. A GAL puts themselves in the shoes of a legally incompetent person such as a minor child. He or she also investigates the matter and files a report with the court. G.A.L.s are usually lawyers or mental health professionals, depending on the court and circumstances.
A CASA is a 'responsible adult' who is usually not an attorney or mental health professional. Often they are community volunteers who do not have the training that a social worker receives. They may also help advise the court as to their opinion regarding the child's well-being.