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Child Advocates needed!

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Skagit County Volunteer Guardian ad Litem Program

  • 19 people are interested
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*****Our next and last training for 2021 is set for mid September (via Zoom) we are accepting applications through the end of August*******

With the current pandemic, extra eyes and ears on our most vulnerable children has never been more paramount. If you have been thinking about ways to volunteer and would like to become an advocate for abused or neglected children, the time is now.

Being an advocate for children in care is one of the most rewarding experiences, for both the advocate and the child.



We are planning our next training group and would love to hear from you!


We have an ongoing need for everyday people to volunteer as Guardian ad Litems (GAL) to represent to the court the best interest of our children in care. There are over 200 children in Skagit county who are abandoned or victims of abuse or neglect. We need people in our community to be a voice for these children. Our next training is coming up and we would love to tell you more about how you can advocate for an abused or neglected child.

VGALs are community volunteers who are appointed by judges to advocate in court for abused and/or neglected children. When a child is in danger living at home, the Department of Children, Youth and Family (DCYF) may step in and say that the child needs to be moved to a safe environment. In order to determine what circumstances will keep the child safe, the case is brought to court where a judge will rule where the child should go.

Once a case is brought to court, the judge appoints a GAL volunteer to the child. The GAL volunteer researches the child's situation - this includes talking to the child as well as the child's parents, teachers, counselors... anyone who plays a significant role in the child's life - and then forms an educated recommendation as to what is in that child's best interests to maintain well-being and encourage safe permanency. Once the GAL volunteer determines the child's best interests, they write a report to the judge recommending a home placement (returning to their previous homes, foster care, staying with relatives...) and services to address any unique, unmet needs that the child has.

GAL volunteers spend an average of ten hours a month working on a case, though typically they spend more time at the beginning of a case than they do towards the end. Cases generally last at least a year, and we ask that each volunteer commits to remaining a volunteer as long as their case is open. Children face a constant rotation of judges, social workers, and foster homes, but all the while their GAL volunteer remains a stable and constant adult in their lives. Training is 30 hours over the course of 4 weeks.


More opportunities with Skagit County Volunteer Guardian ad Litem Program

No additional volunteer opportunities at this time.

About Skagit County Volunteer Guardian ad Litem Program

Location:

611 S. 2nd Ave, Mt. Vernon, WA 98273, US

Mission Statement

The purpose of Skagit County Superior and Juvenile Court VGAL Program is to ensure that the best interests of every abused and/or neglected child involved in a dependency proceeding is represented by a volunteer Guardian ad Litem or a staff GAL if a VGAL is not available. The goal of the Advocate Program is to ensure that each child has a voice and that their best interests are continually evaluated and promoted.

Description

We are always looking for people to volunteer as Guardian ad Litems (VGALs) to represent to the court the best interest of our children in care. If you feel that you could be a voice to the court for an abused, abandoned or neglected child,this is the volunteer position for you. There are over 200 children who reside in Skagit County currently in care who need an advocate! Can you be that person?

Advocacy & Human Rights
Children & Youth
Justice & Legal

WHEN

We'll work with your schedule.

WHERE

1115 S 2nd St, Suite BMount Vernon, WA 98273

(48.4142,-122.33809)
 

SKILLS

  • Child Development
  • Child Welfare
  • Critical Thinking
  • Youth Services
  • Child Advocacy
  • Legal (General)

GOOD FOR

  • People 55+

REQUIREMENTS

  • Driver's License Needed
  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 21
  • Orientation or Training
  • 8-12 hours per month, training is 30 hours over 4 weeks.

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