Our agency is responsible for recruiting, training and supervising community member volunteers, to partner them up with a child in the foster care system on a one-on-one basis for an 18 month commitment. Our advocates spend a minimum of 10 to 15 hours per month on their assigned child's case, with at least 6 of those hours face to face with the child. Those hours are flexible, and since most of our advocates work, they like to see their youth either in the evenings or on the weekends. For the Educational Advocacy program, each volunteer spends approximately 3 to 5 hours per month on the child’s case, maintaining a connection with the child’s school, and advocating for the youth only in regards to their educational needs. Those hours are usually spent during the day, making contact with teachers, administrators, and attending necessary meetings.
Most of the youth we serve from our location are teens, with a median age of around 14. Out of the 4,000 children in the foster care system in our county alone, the youth we serve are those who need the most help. It is vital for us to get involved in their lives, find out how they are doing, what is going on, advocate for any services they might need, and report to the court two times per year on the child's progress, as well as our recommendations.