Starting September 9, Child Advocates, Inc. will be offering a daytime session of Advocacy University. This comprehensive two-week program is a chance for those interested to train as court appointed advocate volunteers, a necessary component of our work. These volunteers will then work with our Advocacy Coordinators on a case, becoming a necessary constant in a child’s life during a time of upheaval.
Our court appointed advocate volunteers will follow a child’s case from its start until the child has been placed in the best situation possible following court and advocate recommendations. Volunteers donate about 2-5 hours per week to working with their assigned child or children, and over 85% have full-time jobs of their own. Volunteer duties involve visiting the child, working with parents, gathering information about the case, and, most importantly, making sure that the child’s emotional, medical, and psychological needs are being fulfilled by making personalized recommendations to the court.
The program lasts approximately 30 hours, and contains several evening classes on various topics related to the process of handling casework and helping the children who come under their care. These presentations, ranging in topics from Pre-Law to Cultural Diversity, are given by several experts in their respective fields and are an important part of prepping a volunteer to adequately handle the needs of their assigned child.
The September session of Advocacy University begins on September 9 with an all-day training session. However, to attend Advocacy University, those interested in training must first attend a one-hour orientation session offered several times a month at our offices. The dates for these sessions can be found here.
Becoming a court appointed advocate volunteer is an incredibly rewarding way of making a difference in the life of an abused or neglected child. These volunteers are an integral part of the child’s life and act as a voice for the child. Child Advocates, Inc. has over 700 volunteers currently working as court appointed advocate volunteers, and has trained over 4,300 volunteer advocates since its start in 1984. These advocates have helped change the lives of nearly 20,000 children.