Did you know that on any given day, dozens of immigrant children are locked up at detention facilities in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia? They may spend months, even years, separated from family, navigating the immigration detention system alone.
This is an opportunity for you to take action to help make sure that all children are treated with kindness and respect by becoming a volunteer with the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights. As a volunteer, you will be appointed as the Child Advocate (guardian ad litem) for an immigrant child in federal custody near Richmond, Virginia. The role of the Child Advocate is to meet one-on-one with a child at a local detention center (or virtually), play games and spend time together, learn that child's story over time, and help us advocate for the child with government officials. All of your work will be supported and supervised by a Young Center attorney. Through volunteering, you will have the opportunity to learn about the immigration process and build personal relationships with amazing children.
We welcome volunteers from all cultures, professions, and social backgrounds. Volunteers must speak Spanish (if you have questions about your fluency level, please contact us) or an indigenous Mayan language (K’iche’, Mam, etc.). Volunteers must be at least 21, complete online modules, and participate in a live virtual two-day training, and be willing to submit a background check and child abuse registry check. Our next training will take place virtually on November 7-8. Please email Isabel George (Volunteer Coordinator) at email@example.com by September 21st for more information and an application!
(Please note that the location listed is a general central location. Our administrative office is in Washington D.C., but volunteers' weekly visits take place at one of several facilities in Northern Virginia, Richmond, the Shenandoah Valley, Maryland, and West Virginia. All visits with children are taking place virtually for the foreseeable future.)
About The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights- D.C. Office
1015 15th St NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20005, US
The mission of the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights is to promote the best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children with due regard to the child’s expressed wishes. The Young Center is a champion for the best interests of children who arrive in the United States on their own, from all corners of the world. We serve as trusted allies for these children while they are in court proceedings, advocating for their best interests, and standing for the creation of a dedicated children’s immigrant justice system that ensures the safety and well-being of every child.
The Young Center provides Child Advocates for unaccompanied immigrant children in federal custody. Our model works with volunteer Child Advocates who participate in a Young Center training, meet with a child on a weekly basis, and learn the child’s story, all supervised and supported by Young Center staff.