Children’s Advocates are assigned by Oakland County Family Court Judges to children requiring a legal guardianship. Advocates interview the potential guardians and the children, write reports and present the cases to the presiding judges. Children’s Advocates are trained by Oakland Court personnel as well as NCJW | MI Children’s Advocates team leaders.
The program is comprised of 40 volunteers who work in teams of two and throughout all of Oakland County. We are known as the “eyes and ears” of the Court.
Training for Children’s Advocates is three-fold: (1) An orientation and overview of the program and its mission presented by the co-chairwomen, (2) A seminar on the legal terms and documents that are used in the guardianship process presented by the probate registrar, court administrator, and the volunteer co-coordinator. (3) On the job training for each new volunteer on an actual case with an experienced Children’s Advocate. The new trainee and an experienced trainer are then considered a team that will monitor the guardianship if granted, until it is terminated in Court or until the minor is 18.
Two to three In-service Workshops are held annually for Children’s Advocates where professionals, working in fields related to our work, are invited to present their knowledge and experience. Children’s Advocates must attend at least one In-service annually.