SERVICES PROVIDED BY VOLUNTEERS FOR PROBATE & FAMILY COURT
Transportation—Volunteers drive youth to various Michigan detention facilities using county transport vehicles. These volunteers are called on any day of the week and at any time of the day. These volunteers save the county time and manpower by relieving the sheriff’s department of this responsibility. We love having male/female teams, as we need to have a female transporter any time we have to transport a female youth.
CASA: Court Appointed Special Advocates—CASA volunteers are advocates for children who have been removed from their home due to child abuse or neglect. These specially trained volunteers visit with the children, parents, family members, teachers, agency workers, day care workers, therapists, attorneys, and anyone else who can share personal knowledge of the children. CASAs are the court’s eyes and ears; they attend court hearings submitting reports with recommendations regarding permanency. *This role requires an extensive training that takes place each spring.
Volunteer Consent Monitor— The Juvenile Consent Calendar is a diversion from the formal probation process. If it appears to the Court that a juvenile engaged in conduct that would otherwise result in formal probation, the Court may issue a written Consent Calendar Case Plan. A Volunteer Consent Monitor’s job (VCM) is to assist the youth in successfully completing his/her terms of the Case Plan. This will include checking on compliance with “conditions” as set by the court, making regular appointments, providing support to the youth (and possibly parent) and helping the youth make good choices.
Learning Partners—A volunteer is matched as a tutor/mentor to a child who is deemed to be “at risk”. The child may be behind in school and demonstrate “a lack of fit” with peers, or have problems with parents and/or authority figures. Positive learning experiences such as hikes, picnics, and swimming are a part of this program.
New Vision Academy—This program gives juvenile offenders an opportunity for personal growth and development while keeping them busy and engaged during the summer. Volunteers have introduced youth to life skills, art, drama, community service, healthy recreation, nutrition, and more. So, do you have special hobby or talent you would like to share?
Guardians, and Conservators—The court appoints volunteers to work with incapacitated adults, as well as the elderly, to manage their personal and financial matters and to ensure that they receive the services they need. Guardians and conservators are referred by Probate Court when there are no relatives or others close to the protected person, able to serve. With a low caseload, volunteer guardians can often provide more individual attention to their wards’ needs.
Review of Guardianship for Minors and Adults—Volunteers visit facilities or private homes to review the guardianships of minors and adults. These state-mandated reviews focus on whether the conditions that existed requiring guardianship are still present. Volunteers fill out a report of their findings and it is submitted to Probate Court.
Office Assistance—Volunteers answer phones, file documents, assist with various projects. They help cover for administrative staff as needed in Probate & Family Court offices. These tasks also support staff during leave times, keeping the office open and avoiding temporary help costs.