How to Volunteer at the Juvenile Court
The Juvenile Court of Cobb County has several volunteer opportunities for people who enjoy working with children and families. We offer comprehensive training and expert supervision for volunteers in each of these programs. Some programs allow volunteers to work in groups and others require people who are comfortable working one-on-one with victims of child dependency.
Volunteers must pass a police records check as well as other screening procedures.
Cobb Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
When a child is alleged to be the victim of child abuse or neglect (dependency), the Court will often appoint a CASA for the child. That person is responsible for independently investigating the case. If the case proceeds to court the CASA will speak for the child and give the Court an opinion recommending an outcome that the CASA believes is in the best interest of the child. If the Court continues to exercise jurisdiction over the case, the CASA will work with the child throughout the child's tenure at the Court to ensure that the court order is being complied with and that the treatment plan is still appropriate for the child. These volunteers must be able to communicate effectively with children and others, to come to court when needed, and operate effectively in an environment involving lawyers, courts, state agencies, etc.
For more information about CASA visit cobbcountycasa.org, or contact Maricruz Garcia at (770) 528-1095.
Judicial Citizen Review Panels (Panels)
Children who are in the temporary custody of the Department of Human Resources, Division of Family and Children Services are in need of a permanent, loving and safe home. The Court will have issued an order designed to reunify the child with family, setting out certain goals and objectives to be reached by parents, caseworkers, etc. to accomplish the needed changes. The Panels work in groups of three to five trained volunteers and meet at the Juvenile Court with parents, caseworkers, counselors, and all other interested parties to review the current efficacy of the order. They consider the progress of the parties in meeting their goals and recommend changes that will make the reunification process more certain. They also flag cases where reunification is not succeeding. This process ensures that a child will not languish in foster care while parents are incapable or unwilling to improve their ability to provide a permanent home for the child. There are fifteen Panels and each meets monthly. Together, they review the cases of approximately 350 foster children in Cobb County.
For more information about Panels contact Michael Figueras at (770) 528-2284.