Training available online for child advocate volunteers

August 25, 2013

 Court Appointed Special Advocates of Washington County has announced an online training format planned for the fall.

It is intended for those interested in volunteering to serve as advocates for children under the court’s jurisdiction due to child abuse or neglect. 

The online training program will be conducted for 10 weeks, beginning Sept. 19 and ending Nov. 21. 

Those enrolled in the online training program will participate in three group-training sessions during the process.

A traditional group-training format will be conducted for eight weeks, in two separate sessions beginning either Wednesday, Sept. 18, or Saturday, Sept. 21, and concluding on Wednesday, Nov. 6, and Saturday, Nov. 9, respectively.

Participants will choose to participate in either the Wednesday or Saturday session, but not both. All training sessions will be held at the Court Appointed Special Advocates office, 140 W. Franklin St.

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

Once they complete training, certified advocates are matched, one-on-one, with children under the jurisdiction of the courts because of adjudicated cases of child abuse or 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 the children.

It is estimated advocates volunteer about 10 hours per month in child contacts and case-related efforts.

Those interested in volunteering 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 other screening procedures.

For more information, call 240-347-4977 or 240-349-4979.

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