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The mission of the District of Columbia Mental Habilitation Volunteer Advocate Program is to recruit and provide a corps of volunteer advocates whose purpose is to assist intellectually and developmentally disabled clients who have cases reviewed by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Our advocates are committed to insure that their client's constitiutional rights are protected and that the clients are receiving appropriate care and treatment. Our ultimate goal is to enhance the quality of life for our intellectually and developmentally disabled contituents. We carry out our mission of acting as a liaison between the client and the community by promoting individual advocacy and by providing effective monitoring of services received and support in collaboration with the people we serve, their families and communities.
Volunteer Advocates act as liaison between their intellectually and developmentally disabled clients, the Court, and between the Court and the community.
Advocates assist in court proceedings, meetings and conferences in relation to any matter concerning the person to whom they are assigned.
Advocates do not act as legal representatives, but they do interact and work with the Court appointed attorneys. Advocates have a right and obligation to attend as many scheduled proceedings their schedule will allow.
Advocates have the right the review reports, evaluations, and records relating to intellectually and developmentally disabled persons, as well as, to interview staff.
Advocates are asked to visit clients a least twice per month in the client's place of residence or day program.
Advocates must be present at court hearings that are held once or twice per year.