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Court Appointed Special Advocates of Washington County announces an online training format

March 14, 2012

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Washington County announces an online training format, in addition to its traditional group training format, planned for a spring 2012 training program. The training is for persons interested in volunteering to serve as advocates for children under the court's jurisdiction due to child abuse or neglect in Washington County.

The online training program begins Wedneday, March 21, and continues through May 23. Persons enrolled in the online training program will participate in four group-training sessions throughout this 10-week process.

The traditional group- training format will be conducted for 8 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.

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

Once completed training, certified advocates are matched, one-on-one, with children under the jurisdiction of the courts because of 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.

Persons interested in volunteering in the program undergo an extensive 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 undergo other screening procedures.

For more information, call 240-313-3383.

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