• 15 people are interested

Become a Child Advocate for an Immigrant Child

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The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights

  • 15 people are interested

The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights trains bilingual volunteers to serve as Child Advocate for unaccompanied immigrant children across the Chicagoland area and Michigan. Right now, we are in critical need of volunteers who are fluent in Dari/Farsi, Pashto, and Spanish for Chicago, Western Michigan, including Grand Rapids, or Lansing, East Lansing, and Ann Arbor. Volunteers can be in-person or virtual.

We are also looking for volunteers in Chicago who are fluent in any of the following languages: Portuguese, French, Haitian Creole, Punjabi, Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, and Indigenous Central American languages (Quiche, Q’eqchi, Ixil, Popti’, Chuj, Qʼanjobʼal, and Mixteco).

To Become a Child Advocate, You Must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Complete online training modules
  • Participate in a one-day virtual training on Saturday, February 5th
  • Pass a background check and child abuse/neglect central registry check
  • For more information, please fill out our Volunteer Interest Form on our website: https://www.theyoungcenter.org/volunteer-child-advocate-interest-form

More opportunities with The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights

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About The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights


2245 S. Michigan Ave., Ste. 301, Chicago, IL 60616, US

Mission Statement

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 deportation 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. Young Center attorneys and social workers, along with bilingual volunteers, are appointed as Child Advocate (guardian ad litem) by the Department of Health and Human Services. Our role is to advocate for their best interests--from custody and release to the ultimate decision about whether the child will be allowed to remain in the U.S. Our goal is to change both immigration policy and practice so that immigrant children are recognized first as children and their best interests are considered in every decision.


The Young Center was founded in Chicago in 2004. The charge was to develop a program to advocate for the best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children-even though US immigration law does not recognize children as distinct from adults.

The program started small. Attorneys and social workers with experience in children’s rights and immigration law supervised bilingual volunteers-Child Advocates-who spoke the children’s languages. They met with the children while they were detained, accompanied them to immigration court and advocated for their best interests every step of the way.

In 2008, Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. One short paragraph provides for the appointment of Child Advocates whose role is to advocate for the child’s best interests, the first mention of the best interests standard for immigrant children.

In 2009, the Young Center opened an office in Harlingen, Texas, on the U.S.-Mexico border. Judges, detention staff, attorneys, even ICE officials began asking for Child Advocates.

In 2013 Congress amended the law providing for expansion of the Child Advocate program.
Today the Young Center has offices in Houston, San Antonio Phoenix, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York, Harlingen, and Chicago.

Advocacy & Human Rights
Children & Youth
Immigrants & Refugees


Thu Dec 23, 2021 - Mon Jan 31, 2022


Multiple locations Chicago, IL 60601



  • Child Development
  • Bilingual
  • Cross-cultural Communication




  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 21
  • Orientation or Training
  • Weekly 1-hour visits with the child the volunteer is appointed to. Volunteers write weekly case notes and have periodic check-in calls with their Child Advocate Supervisor and the Volunteer Coordinator.
  • -Be at least 21 years old -Complete online training modules -Participate in a one-day virtual training on Saturday, February 5th, 2022 -Pass a background check and child abuse/neglect central registry check

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