The demand for advocates for children in Clermont County continues to grow. Post-pandemic, we are seeing a steady rise in removals of children from their homes due to severe abuse and neglect. In some cases, parents are experiencing mental health crises, domestic violence, and/or addiction. In some cases, children as young as pre-school are requiring psychiatric inpatient treatment to stabilize emotionally. We are seeing children who have fallen through the cracks and were not educated during the pandemic. Our advocacy work is more vital now than ever.
Ready to apply? Click here to go to our online application.
Qualifications to become an advocate:
- 21 years of age or older.
- Complete an application (click here to go to the online application) and subsequent interview.
- Complete and pass a criminal background check.
- Commit to 3-12 hours of monthly case activity.
- Maintain 2-year commitment.
- Complete the pre-service training curriculum which include materials provided online for study with 5 to 6 in-person classroom meetings (or Zoom during Covid) to discuss and do a deeper dive into application of skills.
- Complete 12 hours of continuing education annually.
- Have a passion to help children in need of caring adults during a difficult time in their lives.
Responsibilities of being an advocate:
- Maintain confidentiality of all case information.
- Develop a relationship with the child by meeting in-person at least monthly with the child.
- Apply skills taught in training, obtain first-hand a clear understanding of the needs and situation of the child. This will involve reviewing records, talking to the child and those closely involved with the child’s life and current situation.
- Appear at all hearings to advocate for the child’s best interests primarily by providing a written court report that includes findings and recommendations. It may also be necessary to provide testimony on occasion. Your training will prepare you well for these tasks.
- Advocate for the child’s best interests in the community by collaborating with case workers, mental health professionals, educational providers, and other community partners to assure child’s needs are identified and met.
- Maintain complete, confidential records about the case, including appointments, interviews and information gathered about the child and the child’s life circumstances.
- Participate in all scheduled case conferences with supervisory staff.
- Provide the GAL Volunteer Coordinator with regular updates as to the status of your case and complete monthly activity logs.
Benefit to the Volunteer:
- Making a difference in the life of a child and serving your community in a meaningful way.
- Being part of a close-knit local community of dedicated volunteers who share the values of safety, love and permanency for vulnerable children.
- Receiving extensive support from supervisors.