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Online training offered by Court Appointed Special Advocates

February 06, 2012

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Washington County will hold online training this spring for those interested in volunteering to serve as advocates for children under the court’s jurisdiction due to child abuse or neglect in Washington County. 

The program will begin in March. 

The online training program will be conducted for 10 weeks, beginning March 21 and concluding May 23. Those enrolled in the online training program will participate in four group training sessions throughout the process.

In addition, its traditional group-training format will be conducted for eight weeks, in two separate, concurrent sessions beginning Wednesday, March 21, and Saturday, March 24; concluding Wednesday, May 9, and Saturday, May 12, respectively. Participants will choose to participate in either the Wednesday or the Saturday sessions, but not both.

All training sessions will be held at the Washington County Health Department, Behavioral Health Services Division, 13114 Pennsylvania Ave., Hagerstown.

Advocate training programs are sponsored through support from the Alice Virginia and David W. Fletcher Foundation, Community Foundation of Washington County, Washington County Gaming Commission, Richard N. Funkhouser Foundation and the Antietam Exchange Club.

Once training is completed, certified advocates are matched, one on one, with children under the jurisdiction of the courts according to adjudicated cases of child abuse and neglect. Advocates review case files, conduct interviews, and provide recommendations of care and services to the courts, which the advocate considers to be in the best interest of children appointed. It is estimated advocates volunteer about 10 hours per month in child contacts and case-related efforts.

Those interested in volunteering in the program undergo a screening process, must be at least 21 years of age, free of a felony criminal record, free of any child abuse or neglect charges, and be able to meet other screening criteria.

For more information, call 240-313-3383 or 240-313-3386 (TTY 240-313-3391), or go to www.washhealth.org.

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