Services Provided by Family Division and Probate Court Volunteers
CASA: Court Appointed Special Advocates—CASA volunteers are advocates for children who are under court jurisdiction due to child abuse or neglect. Many of the children we work with are placed in a foster care home. These specially trained volunteers visit with the children, parents and other family members, teachers, agency workers, therapists, attorneys, and anyone else who can share personal knowledge of the children. CASAs are the court’s eyes and ears; they write court reports and attend hearings in regards to permanency for the child.
*This role requires an extensive pre-service training. See Meghan Schuur for training schedules*
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.
Learning partners: Volunteers are matched as a tutor/mentor to a school-aged child who is deemed to be at risk of future court involvement . Children may be behind in school or demonstrating a “lack of fit” with peers, or may be dealing with issues beyond their control . Students get involved with positive programs such as hikes and picnics to help enrich their experiences.
*Laura Shumate heads this program. Please contact her for more details!*
Guardians and Conservators: Appointed volunteers work with incapacitated adults, and developmentally disabled adults, to manage their personal and financial matters, and to ensure that they receive the services they need. When there are no relatives or close relationships to the protected person, our volunteers serve as guardians and conservators for people in nursing homes, assisted living, or adult foster care homes.
Accounting Assistance for Conservators: Inventory of the individual under guardianship’s accounts, income, and expenses is completed annually by the guardian and reported to the court— assistance on this annual account is often needed. This task would be great for someone with a financial background!
Guardianship Reviews for Adults and Minors: 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, as well as to determine if the person’s needs are being met. Volunteers fill out a report of their findings and it is then submitted to Probate 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. Male/Female teams are much needed, as we need to have a female transporter present during the transport of any female youth. Our transport teams relieve the sheriff’s department of the responsibility of filling those roles by saving both manpower and time.