(a)    Request. At any stage of the proceedings, any party may request or the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent any child alleged to be dependent.

(b)    Appointment. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child in any proceeding as required by law and shall ascertain at each stage of the proceeding whether a guardian ad litem should be appointed if one has not yet been appointed.

(c)    Duties and Responsibilities. The guardian ad litem shall be a responsible adult, who may or may not be an attorney, or a certified guardian ad litem program, and shall have the following responsibilities:

(1)    To gather information concerning the allegations of the petition and any subsequent matters arising in the case and, unless excused by the court, to file a written report. This report shall include a summary of the guardian ad litem’s findings, a statement of the wishes of the child, and the recommendations of the guardian ad litem and shall be provided to all parties and the court at least 72 hours before the hearing for which the report is prepared.

(2)    To be present at all court hearings unless excused by the court.

(3)    To represent the interests of the child until the jurisdiction of the court over the child terminates, or until excused by the court.

(4)    To perform such other duties as are consistent with the scope of the appointment.

(d)    Bond. A guardian ad litem shall not be required to post bond but shall file an acceptance of the office.

(e)    Service. A guardian ad litem shall be entitled to receive service of pleadings and papers as provided by rule 8.225.

(f)     Practice of Law by Lay Guardians. The duties of lay guardians shall not include the practice of law.

(g)    Substitution or Discharge. The court, on its own motion or that of any party, including the child, may substitute or discharge the guardian ad litem for reasonable cause.